There’s a popular Christian song out there that says something I’d like you to consider:
“You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing. You say I am strong when I think I am weak”
That first line is fine. Many of us go through times and seasons where we don’t “feel” loved by God—specifically when there’s discipline involved. But the second line is the problem. Where do we get the idea that God calls us strong when we think we are weak? We are never to look to ourselves for strength, we are to look to God’s strength.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for [my] power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB
Paul boasted in his weakness but we want God to tell us we are so good and strong and beautiful… This isn’t what we see in Scripture. Sure we are overcomers, but only because of King Jesus!
Why does this matter? Because every time we shift our focus back to ourselves we fail to see the faithfulness of God, the kindness of God which alone leads us to repentance.Paul boasted in his weakness but we want God to tell us we are so good and strong and beautiful… This isn’t what we see in Scripture. Click To Tweet
If we think about King David, we see that what made him a man after God’s heart is that he refused to trust his own faithfulness. Instead he rested in the Father. When he went astray he simply returned.
David’s response was opposite of the servant in the parable of the talents. David knew that God was justified in judgements, but he wasn’t afraid of God being a hard master.
In Psalm 51 David said:
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions…Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow….Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Does this sound like David trusted his own faithfulness? Not at all. David’s song wasn’t, “you say I am strong when I think I am weak.” Instead David understood his weakness, accepted it, and trusted in God’s strength.
Remember David’s words in Psalm 51:12, “…sustain me with a willing spirit.” David knew he needed God’s help to walk in repentance. In Matthew 26:41, Jesus told his disciples, “Keep watching and praying, so that you do not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” In his kindness, God understands that our flesh is weak. He provides us with the antidote—his help.In his kindness, God understands that our flesh is weak. He provides us with the antidote—his help. Click To Tweet
Hebrews 2:18 says: “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”
And Romans 8:26 says: “Now in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;”
Does God’s help prevent our faltering? No it doesn’t. But it does prove that God is kind and faithful to us no matter what.
Everything we’ve learned up to this point shows that wisdom displays kindness, and that kindness is actually faithfulness. And when it comes to our obedience and repentance, when it comes to the Gospel our faith is in God’s faithfulness and not our own.
Charles Spurgeon once said:
“Judged by changeful feelings (that is our own), one might be lost and saved a dozen times a day.”
Many of you feel this way. One misstep and it’s lightning bolts from heaven. I’m asking you to walk with me as we trust in the faithfulness of God and not ourselves. When we do His kindness will lead us to repentance every time.
Wisdom & Kindness
So with this new definition, I’d like to take a look at two proverbs to better understand what they’re actually saying. This will show you the power of right interpretation.
Proverbs 31:26 says, “She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
The Proverbs 31 woman speaks wisdom but what’s her curriculum? The teaching of kindness—the teaching of faithfulness. As we read this well-known chapter, we see a lot of faithfulness—a faithful mother, wife, worker. This woman was not just teaching her children to be polite and tolerant of others, she was teaching them how to be faithful people in everything they do.
This faithfulness stretched beyond her personal relationship with God also. A virtuous woman is going to remind those she loves that they are products of a perfect faithfulness—that of our Heavenly Father.
Proverbs 19:22, “What is desirable in a person is his kindness, and it is better to be a poor person than a liar.”
There are so many moving parts here but what I want you to see is that we all desire the kindness, or faithfulness as we now understand it, of others.
The second half of the verse proves our definition true. The contrast here is between the liar and his opposite—the liar and the faithful one. The whole of this proverb would then suggest it’s better to be faithful and poor, than a liar and rich. It’s better to be kind!
True wisdom will show kindness. Kindness is faithfulness.
“…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?” – Romans 2:4 NASB
It’s the faithfulness of God we should be looking at church! Never our own.
How does understanding God’s kindness to us—knowing that we’ve been led time-and-again back to God through kindness and not condemnation—enable you to better walk by faith in the faithfulness of God? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.