What has proven most effective in changing your demeanor toward someone: a severe punishment or a surprising display of mercy? Paul asks us in Romans 2:4, “Do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” He later exhorts Christians to counter evil with kindness: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head” (12:20). The following poem is a personal meditation on how God’s kindness has tenderized my hard heart repeatedly.
What kind of love is this–that You would not destroy
My soul that oft’ resists the grace that You employ!
How deep conviction spreads when You heap burning coals
Of kindness on my head, when I deserve Hell’s shoals!
Your kindness overwhelms and leads me to repent.
I give You back the helm. Please, sanctify my bent!
O Lord, I’m so inclined to let my flesh preside,
But You are far too kind to cast this clay aside.
O please continue, Lord, to call me back to You,
To pierce me with Your sword of kindness through and through.