A Word to Children: Psst...That's You!

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Are you being "imitators of God" by showing kindness to those hard-to-love people God has placed in your life?

"Be ye kind one to another."

I can still hear my dad's voice admonishing us siblings with these old English words from Ephesians 4. It always seemed to be the appropriate reprimand for any given situation, be that a squall over who got the last bowl of cereal, or the heated discussion on whose turn was next on our giant swing in the backyard.

(If you only knew the swing I'm talking about, you'd know why it was such a big deal to get first dibs! This swing hung from a tree on an eighteen-foot-long rope, and with a few good pushes we could reach out and snatch the leaves off the top branches of the adjacent tree! It was pretty much an amusement park in our backyard. But I digress . . .)

Just for Kids?

Do you think the instruction to be kind is only for bickering children? If so, then in a way, you're right.

In the very next verse, Paul writes, "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children" (emphasis mine). Paul isn't insulting his readers, in fact, just the opposite. These were Gentiles formerly without any hope, but now adopted into God's family. No longer children of wrath, but children of the heavenly Father, and fellow heirs with Christ!

So Paul's admonition to his "beloved children" to show kindness is, for a child of God, an outflow of an awareness of God's incredible kindness to us through Christ. In sending His Son to earth, God displayed the ultimate expression of kindness imaginable—and to ones so undeserving!

Is this the kind of treatment you show to those you interact with?

Have you thanked God recently for the ultimate display of kindness He showed you in sending Jesus Christ?

Are you being "imitators of God" by showing kindness to those hard-to-love people God has placed in your life?


By Leanna Shepard

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