“God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.” Romans 2:4 The Message (MSG)
Paul said to the Corinthians, “For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it – for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while – I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful, according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:7-9
It is God’s will that we, as needed, are rebuked and made sorrowful and are led to repentance (a change of mind) that therefore produces a change in our mindset, actions, and thus in our whole lives.
It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). And it is so KIND of God to lead us to repentance, even if that leading doesn’t feel kind in the moment.
Just like Paul, we may be the sender of “the kindness of God” that brings sorrow (or we may be the receiver), and though the results may not look good and we may even regret for a time some action taken, we must walk by faith (not by the negative results that we initially see) and pray that there is a sorrow to the point of repentance, for life change. The eternal stakes are too high to withhold the call to repentance. May we always find that we are more concerned for people’s eternal well-being than in keeping them comfortable.
“Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to His deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.” Romans 2:4
The call to repentance is serious business.
Is there anyone that you are currently trying to protect from sorrow? Could you also be hindering that person from an encounter with the truth of God that would bring repentance and change their life?
Furthermore, are you protecting yourself? Is there an area in your own life that you need to allow God (and even others) to shine Light upon, for your good and His glory?
I know that it’s a strong question when put this way, but “who are you protecting from repentance and therefore, a change of life that effects the here-and-now and all of eternity?”
Would you talk to the Lord about this this week?
The kindness of God leads (calls us) to repentance.
In love (because you truly love), speak truth to others AND to yourself.