Kill Them With Kindness

Killing Them With Kindness

  “Do not let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” Romans 12:21.   Ya’ll might need to prepare yourselves for this one. It’s a doozy! I was recently convicted about something that I have all my life believed was a good thing. I can hear you saying, “do tell!!” Ok, ok, you’ve pulled my arm long enough, let me share.   First off, the truth of, “the Truth shall set us free” is real life stuff folks! When the light is shined, when Jesus speaks in loving correction it can change a multitude of perspectives. Here’s the recent scenario. My oldest son and I were in the drive thru at McDonald’s this past weekend. When it was our turn to order, I of course pull up to the speaker and begin placing my order, which took no more than probably 60 seconds to complete. As I was finishing up my order I hear loud, vulgar screaming outside my window behind me. I instantly thought there was a fight breaking out in the parking lot so, naturally, I stick my head out the window to look towards the screaming and my eyes turn to the carload behind me when the driver sticks his head out the window, points at me and says very rudely, “yea! I’m talking to you 🤬 (insert a not nice word, use your imagination, make it fun!)!!!!” 😳😳


Now, mind you I am COMPLETELY caught off guard. Like, completely! So…very flabbergasted (haha, that’s a good word), I say…“excuse ME?” He appeases me and makes sure I can hear him loud and clear this time, how very thoughtful of him. He throws his hand up and says, “are you done placing your order yet you 🤬(insert the same fun, super unkind word!)?!” 😳    Oh goodness!      NO.     He.        Didn’t.     Deep breath. Jesus take the wheel!   ——Pause for effect——-(note to set the scene: all time came to a screeching hault. My praise and worship music, “It Is Well With My Soul” 🎶instantly changes to “ya’ll gonna make me lose my mind, ya’ll gonna make me act a fool”…everybody…”up in here, up in here❗️”  My inner thug came out, can I say that in a church devotional?) 🤷‍♀️   Now, I realize at this point I have two choices. The fleshly part of me, you know, the evil one, was immediately wishing I could shank a fool right there in the drive thru parking lot, and still be back home to catch it on the 6 o’clock news before my fries got cold. Dang! I hate that don’t you?! But darn it, I claim to be a Jesus girl and well, that wouldn’t look so good, so…”I forgive you” came out of my mouth instead, and I meant it, confirmation that I am a Jesus girl I guess, minus the desire to shank my enemy. 😬 But this man was feisty I tell ya. He then very sarcastically shouts back, “Bahahaha! I forgive you TOO! Wuhahahaha!” Everyone in his car laughs and before I pull forward to the window, I imagine what it would be like to “accidentally” slam back in reverse as hard as I could. Oops! Wuahahahaha! 😈   Ok, I’m mostly kidding. What happened was real, but if ya’ll could actually see my inner thug you’d laugh. Picture me in Kristy’s T-rex costume bobbing and weaving, bouncing around trying to throw punches, falling on the floor not able to roll up out of a position to get myself on my feet, kicking in the air. In the face of confrontation I can put up a pretty weak front. Be afraid! Very afraid!    Now, here’s where I knew Jesus’ power was real, because I, Leah, the flesh and bones of me can take absolutely NO credit, zero, zilch, nada for what came to me next. There were four words that instantly, as quick as a blink of an eye were impressed upon my heart…”pay for their meal”. Have you ever been caught off guard by the Holy Spirit?      “YES!!” I scream, snapping back to real time, making my son jump half way out of his seat. “Yes! Thank you Jesus” as I high five the air. 👏🏻🙌🏻 I was so excited that it could NOT have been any part of Leah because it came as a total surprise to my spirit. I was still stuck reeling inside, like, my brain was trying to catch up with real world time and make sense of what just happened. Doing something nice for them was the farthest thing from my thought life, it just absolutely was the Holy Spirit. The whole time my son is looking at me like I’m crazy! I giggle at the thought of it now. I look over at him and say like a crazy lady, giggling hysterically, “I’m going to pay for their meal!” 😄 His face was confused and stuck in that position. 😟 Like he can’t believe all that has ensued in the last 2 to 3 minutes. Lots of lessons were taught in that short ride, for both of us. His version may have me locked up in a straitjacket.    So, here I am, super excited about blessing them instead of cursing them because I knew that’s exactly what Jesus told me to do. There was absolutely no question about it, no second thoughts, no trying to talk myself out of it, I was going to show love instead of hate. So I roll up to the young lady at the window and tell her, “I would like to pay for the car behind me and would you please speak some kind words to them for me?” I should have just left it at that, Jesus would have been proud. But…I didn’t. She says, “oh that’s so nice!” I reply with, “yea, they were super rude to me so I would like to kill them with kindness.” The manager overhears and walks over and says, “Good, now they’ll feel like real jerks!” And I drive away, leaving it at that.


“Now they’ll feel like real jerks”, stuck in my head and that’s where the conviction and loving correction part came in. I was good up until I began to feel justified in my “good deed” because I had hoped it would make them feel bad. Jesus again, instantly yet ever so gently impressed upon my heart, “Leah, I never said to kill with kindness.” I repented on the spot and prayed that my “good deed” would actually be planted as “good seed” to ripple for the Kingdom, knowing ONLY God could take my flawed intentions and turn them into good seed. I had trampled all OVER grace instead of freely offering it out of love, just as it has ALWAYS been offered to my undeserving self time and time again from my Heavenly Father.   It’s one thing to be obedient with love, but it’s another to be obedient with your own evil twist on it. In my heart of hearts I knew paying for their meal was the right thing to do because it came from Him, it was an act of kindness to stop the hate and ugly being spewed, I was more than happy to do it, to be used by Him in such a way was an honor. But…when I realized that my wanting to kill them with kindness shifted other’s perspectives from what should have been the love of Christ to a shaming game, I knew my heart wasn’t pure in that situation and I had snatched His glory right back.
1 Peter 1:22, “having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” 1 Timothy 1:4, “the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” ✝️    I recently heard an amazing and beautiful truth explained by a favorite online pastor of mine. He was talking about when Jesus stopped the rebukers for throwing stones at the adulteress woman saying, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone”. Pay attention here, this is GOOOOD stuff. In that situation Jesus wasn’t just disqualifying all those that wished to stone her, but he was at the same time qualifying himself as he was the only one there without sin, yet he didn’t even think of bending over to pick up a stone. What he did instead was show grace, mercy and love by giving her a path to walk in freedom, “go and sin no more.” POWERFUL stuff right?! Jesus is such an excellent teacher. When we actually do allow him to “take the wheel” in situations in our lives where our own humanness would possibly create more havoc than peace, it doesn’t just make things easier, it actually transforms our hearts for the next time we find ourselves in a similar situation and it leaves trails of grace for those least expecting it. That transforming power is what bleeds out and touches others.
You see, I let those McDonald’s employees believe that my “killing them with kindness” was actually a good deed, I drove off leaving them in a frame of mind that says, “doing good things for mean, ugly people will make them feel really bad” instead of lovingly teaching them as Jesus did me, that no, actually, it’s ok. Don’t hold it over them. Just understand that hurt people, hurt people. I forgive them for they know not what they do.


While I was “loving” them with one hand, I had a stone in the other. I believe that’s what we do when we say let’s “kill someone with kindness.” There’s an ulterior motive there that isn’t pure and that isn’t who Jesus is. As Christians, we should be very cautious to represent the Kingdom in a way that puts our own spin on the cross. The cross is a finished work, it doesn’t need any of our help or editing. It is finished! Jesus said it himself. So why then do we sometimes make it so hard or tweak it just a little to fit what’s comfortable for us instead of what’s right for the Kingdom? If we are truly walking in the Spirit, we aren’t looking for justification for our actions or behavior because our actions will justify He’s truly in us. His presence speaks for itself as we allow it to freely flow through us out of humble, submitted hearts and lives.

I’m talking to myself first when I say, let’s put our stones down and love people from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. Let’s leave a sweet fragrance and be salt of the earth kind of people. Let Jesus be who He wants to be through you, don’t be a reason others are seeing the Kingdom through a skewed view because you feel that your way is better. That’s a heavy responsibility we carry when we write our own doctrines. Killing with kindness is not in the bible, but turning the other cheek is, treating strangers with hospitality is, putting away wrath, anger and slander is, forgiveness is, overcoming evil with good is. By doing these things out of purity and love we’ve no desire in us or reason whatsoever to be looking to “kill someone with kindness” because when it comes from a pure heart it instead comes out as “blessing someone with love”. As ugly as people can be, He still sees a future of salvation for them just as He did for us, and to Him we ALL are worth much more than just a kind gesture, we are worth Him laying down His life. So, as His children who recognize and have been touched by such grace, we should feel compelled to want to love on others, apart from our own ideas of what it should look like, but straight from our most perfect example. If you don’t want to do it for them, do it for Him. 😉 Blessings friends!
 
Leah Parkin, 3-11-19