Rev. Dr. Jaerock Lee 2007-08-26
1 Corinthians 13:4
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 8th session the “Spiritual Love” series.
Beginning with the previous session, I am explaining the concepts of love as to what spiritual love actually is.
In the last session, I explained about the character of patience among the attributes of love.
Spiritual love is patient. The patience of spiritual love has a smaller scope than the patience of the Nine Fruit of the Spirit, being more of a personal patience that is ‘endurance’.
When you try to love in obedience to the word of God, you may meet with various trials and you have to be patient of everything regarding ones ‘own self’.
Spiritual patience is not suppressing ill feelings stored within you, such as hatred, but it is when you get rid of evil that causes such ill feelings and turn them into mercy and love.
Today I will speak about kindness, one of the characteristics of spiritual love. I am sure that all of you members of Manmin have the most earnest longing for this kindness, among many kinds of truthful hearts.
That’s because you know very well how pleased our God is to see His ‘kind’ children, how much He loves them and the many blessings He gives them.
If you have God-given duties, I am you are longing for this kindness in order to embrace and lead many souls to the better places of heaven.
Our Father God is Love itself and is so kind. So, you can resemble our Father God and reach better dwelling places in heaven to the extent that you become ‘kind’.
Through this message on kindness, I wish for you to understand exactly what kindness is. And I want you to realize how to accomplish kindness and possess a kind heart within you.
I pray in the name of the Lord that many souls may take rest within you, gain salvation, and reach a more beautiful dwelling place of heaven through you, and moreover, you may enter a more beautiful residence and receive greater rewards in heavenly kingdom.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today’s scripture says “Love is kind.” It means that a kind person has spiritual love as much as he has kindness.
What kind of heart is a kind heart?
To be kind here refers to the heart in which you can accept everyone and many people can find rest.
One dictionary definition refers to ‘to be kind’ as ‘to be of a sympathetic or helpful nature; to have a forbearing nature; to be gentle.’
Mentally picture cotton in your mind and you can better understand what the kind heart is.
Cotton makes no sound no matter what kind of hard materials may strike it.
Cotton does not retreat or fall away but it embraces and enfolds anything that hits it.
Like cotton, a kind person has a gentle and warm heart with which he can embrace everyone.
So, a kind heart is like a shadow in which many people are able to dwell and rest.
Suppose you are walking on a road without any shade and it is a scorching summer day. It doesn’t seem like it can be any hotter.
But, you discover a broad, tall tree whose leaves are deep green, even from afar. It must offer cool shade beneath it.
If you hide yourself under the tree and escape from that scorching sunlight, how cool and happy you will be!
The heart of a kind person is like that cool shade of the tree. In the same way, many people desire to find comfort and rest in such a person.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I ask you to carefully realize that the kindness, that is, the spiritual kindness that our Lord wants you to possess is totally different from that which belongs to the world.
In the world, when a man is so gentle and mild that he doesn’t get angry with anyone who bothers him and does not insist on his own opinions, he is said to be a kind person.
But no matter how mild and meek he is, if that goodness is not recognized by God, he cannot be deemed to be really meek.
Among those who look gentle and good in the world, there are some who obey others well just because their natures are weak and conservative.
There are others who suppress their anger even though their minds are upset when others give them a hard time.
Some who have low intelligence always laugh even when others speak harshly or curse at them.
But they cannot be deemed to be kind.
It’s not that they are embracing and enduring with the evil people having no evil but only much love in their heart.
Spiritual kindness is not the product of a weak nature or some deficiency, but it is the result of the fullness of spiritual love without any evil. With this spiritual kindness you do not stand against anyone but endure him. Also, you endure because you are wise.
You have to remember that you cannot be considered kind just because you unconditionally understand and forgive others and are gentle towards everyone.
Since embracing others in spiritual kindness is not fleshly acceptance but in spirit, and you must also have the righteousness, dignity and authority to be able to guide and influence others.
So, a spiritually kind person is not only gentle, but also wise and clever. Such a person lives an exemplary life.
Spiritual kindness does not simply mean “to be gentle and meek,” but it entails much more.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let me explain about spiritual kindness in more detail. Spiritual kindness is to have meekness in heart as well as virtuous character on the outside.
What does it mean?
Even if you possess a kind heart having no evil but only goodness, if you have only inward gentleness, that gentleness alone cannot make you embrace and have a positive influence over others.
So, when you possess not only inward kindness, but also outward characters of virtue, your kindness can be perfected and you show greater power.
If you possess virtue along with a meek heart, you can gain the hearts of many people and accomplish much more.
What is virtue?
Referring to the dictionary again, we find “virtue” having the meanings of “conformity to a standard of right”, “a particular moral excellence”, “pure in thought and deed”, “a beneficial quality or power of a thing”, “manly strength or courage”, “a commendable quality or trait”, and “a capacity to act.”
These definitions also apply to the spiritual meaning of virtue.
A virtuous person has an upright mind and is unbiased in his ways, so he acts according to the proper duty of man.
Namely, he can have positive influence on others with the good characters.
He does not conquer others by physical force, but gains many people through proper words and deeds by understanding the shortcomings of others and embracing them.
He is never against anyone anywhere. He can be trusted by many people and is worthy of their favor and recognition.
Virtue for spiritual kindness can be compared to wearing clothing. No matter how great and handsome you may be, if you are naked, you can be put to shame.
In the same way no matter how meek your heart is, if you fail to possess virtue, the value of your inward kindness is not revealed but instead the light of kindness will become dim.
Suppose one’s heart is so meek that he has no hatred within him and is at peace with everyone.
But, when he speaks he tends to speak many words that are not really necessary.
Though he does not speak out of malicious intent, he doesn’t appear thoughtful or well-mannered. In a word, he cannot be deemed to have virtue.
No matter how meek he is, his kindness cannot be brought to light properly.
Others may see him as being undependable or untrustworthy.
Some others may be so meek and gentle that they have no ill feelings against anyone and do not gossip or cause troubles to others.
But, they lack showing the deeds of actively supporting and helping others and delicately putting them into consideration.
As a result, they have difficulty in embracing many people.
Likewise, virtue is to be kind inside and also to have proper words and deeds on the outside as well, so that one can lead and manage other people.
Throughout history, a country became either prosperous or shaken depending on the kind of king or leader who ruled over that country.
For a country to grow and prosper, its king or leader had to be careful and clever in controlling subordinates.
Some kings were meek in heart but failed to gain the hearts of their subordinates and failed to make the country prosperous because of the lack of virtue.
Some others were not only meek in heart but also virtuous so that they succeeded in gaining the hearts of the people and leading the country into prosperity. Thus, the country became prosperous and the people lived in peace.
Which of the kind of leaders bore the better fruit? The latter of course!
This is the difference between a person who has virtue along with kindness and another person who does not.
Our Lord Jesus was the kindest of all people. He was meek in everything.
As said in Matthew 12:20, “A battered reed He will not break off, And a smoldering wick He will not put out, Until He leads justice to victory,” His mercy, compassion, love and forgiveness for the souls were so abundant.
And also Jesus revealed holy dignity in His words, deeds and appearances as said in Matthew 12:19, “He will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.”
The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary refers to “dignity” as “calm, serious and controlled behavior that makes people respect you.”
If Jesus was meek but enjoyed telling and hearing funny stories or was indecent in His attire or His walking posture, how could so many people follow Him?
They would not have followed Him. Even His disciples wouldn’t have been able to fully trust Him.
But, in reality Jesus was not like that at all. Whenever He taught the word of God, His word was confirmed by the power and authority of God.
Luke 4:31-32 says, “And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was given with authority.”
Jesus not only taught the word of God but also fulfilled all of them. He had no form of evil at all, so He testified to the word of God in a holy and perfect manner without any outward error or blemish.
That’s why His preaching was accompanied with authority and many crowds followed Him. He was totally different from priests, scribes, and Pharisees who appeared godly outwardly and taught the people at the synagogues. That was the very reason that the people trusted Jesus.
Sometimes Jesus rebuked them of their sins in a stately manner.
John 2:14-15 says, “And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables and He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He severely reproached them.”
Jesus never accepted the selling of things in the Holy Temple of God.
In Matthew chapter 16 Jesus foretold His disciples His would-be crucifixion. But Peter told Jesus, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You” and He strictly rebuked Peter saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
In this exchange you should not think that the meek Jesus had a quick-temper.
Jesus never compromised with any kind of untruths and unrighteousness that were against the will of God, and He did it at the temple of God to awaken the people to what the will of God is.
Our Lord Jesus is pure, perfect and holy without any form of hatred or ill feelings. His heart is full of love, mercy and goodness alone.
How can we fathom His love?
Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Through the deed of laying down His life, we can surely realize it and believe it.
Jesus abounded in unfailing love and mercy inside and never compromised with any kind of unrighteousness but instead showed perfect actions. With the love and virtue He could embrace and control all the souls.
That’s why He revealed amazing works of God to many souls and preached the gospel of heaven to them, and so He could lead them onto the path of salvation.
Brothers and sisters, now, let’s look into the relation between love and justice.
The knowledge of the relationship between love and justice will help you understand spiritual kindness.
Many people think that it is love to understand, forgive and cover others’ transgressions and to be warm and gentle.
But true love does not accept unrighteousness just as 1 Corinthians 13:6 says, “[love] does not rejoice in unrighteousness.”
For this reason, our Father God who is Love Itself sometimes gives us unfailing love and mercy but sometimes strictly judges sinners of their sins.
Numbers 14:18 says, “The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.”
If our God simply were to continually forgive and accept the souls who have committed serious sins, would that be true love?
If parents love their child, when the child goes astray, they sometimes scold and sometimes spank him.
When our God the Father of our spirits lets you pay for the penalty for your sins, it is such a great love of God to lead you to life.
If our God were to lead into salvation both those who do their best to live by the word of God and those others who profess their faith but repeat serious sins, how can we say God is so good?
If our God violates the law of the spiritual realm, true cultivation of human beings could not be accomplished, and the enemy devil and Satan would bring accusations.
Our Father God created the heavens and the earth and everything therein, but He has been governing everything according to the established law. God is the God of justice.
Up to this very moment, in order to do everything according to justice in fulfilling the will of God, I had to pray and fast so much, and sometimes I had to overcome great trials.
To receive and reveal the amazing power of God, I had to show faith worthy of such a man of God. Whenever I showed the evidences of my faith, God added greater power to me.
It is the same when I pray for you with the power of God.
I wish for all of you who are sick to be healed and for all of you to receive blessing, but the will of God for me is to harbor and pray for you in accordance with justice.
If justice is disregarded and everyone receives healing and blessing unconditionally, some of you will have difficulty in gaining salvation because the problem with your spirit is not solved.
Regarding the relationship with our Father God, if you experience His love by eagerly seeking God and showing the proofs of your faith, the relationship is totally different from experiencing it indirectly through others.
Thus, love is made perfect with justice, so justice and love are mutually supportive.
This is the same with kindness, one characteristic of love. When you not only abound in love and mercy by accomplishing a good and meek heart, but also possess virtue by which you can guide people to the right path, your kindness is perfected and you can share true love.
In other words, you can lead many people to the path to salvation and true life and give them true rest.
Is there any one among you who thinks it is not easy to become a kind person?
Of course, you cannot become a kind person in a day.
A really kind person is recognized for his kindness by our Father God.
In order to be recognized as kind, first of all, you have to accomplish the sanctification of heart.
And you have to possess virtue. Next session I will explain what you should specifically do to accomplish a truly kind heart and give you a couple of examples.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, In Aesop’s Fables have you heard the story of a contest between the sun and wind?
One day the sun and the wind made a bet which of them could make a man take off his overcoat.
The wind went first, and triumphantly puffed up and sent out a strong enough blast of wind to topple a tree.
But the man buttoned and wrapped himself in his overcoat even more tightly.
Next, the sun just smiled and gave off the warm sunlight and the man soon removed his overcoat.
I believe you have heard this story once or twice and maybe even more times. This story gives us an important lesson.
The wind tried to blow off the man’s coat on its own, while the sun let the man take off his coat by himself. Kindness is like the sun.
Spiritual kindness is the power to move the heart of someone with goodness and love and gain his heart without any force or threat.
If you possess this kindness, you can have a power that is greater than anything else in the world including riches, honor and power.
And you can lead countless souls to salvation with this power of kindness.
I have told you that spiritual kindness is as gentle as cotton and is a hiding place to find rest like the shade of a tree. I also explained what is meant by saying that spiritual kindness is ‘inward gentleness’ and ‘outward virtue’.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will keep this message and the message in the next session in your heart, accomplish this kindness in yourself, experience the power of kindness and love, and glorify God.