God's Kindness Leads Towards Repentance—Romans 2:3-4
“So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:3-4)
During the winter months, I looked down at my keychain and realized that I had lost the key to my Harley. I had it on a quick release loop so I could remove it from the rest of my keys for ease when riding. I looked everywhere for it—in all of my jackets, purses, and pockets—but because I couldn’t pinpoint the time-frame in which I lost it, I had no hope of finding it.
Here is a foundational truth: God is a God of kindness, tolerance, and patience, and His kindness is what brings us to repentance.
After I had given up the search, I dreaded telling my husband that the key was gone, as I expected him to be angry, even though it was an accident. When I finally worked up the courage to tell him, he dismissed it with a shrug, commenting, “These things happen.” I was so relieved. Not only was he not angry, he was sympathetic knowing this could have happened to anyone.
Do you know why I was nervous he’d be angry? Because I would have been angry. I might have even accused him of being careless, or questioned how he didn’t notice it falling off the keyring. Many times, we do not like to extend grace to others. We like it for ourselves, but when others are concerned, we want them to get what we believe they deserve.
However, in this passage, Paul is questioning why we are expecting to escape God’s judgement when doing the same things as those we judge. When we behave like this, we show contempt for the riches of God’s “kindness, tolerance, and patience.” Instead, we need to recognize His kindness toward us. Here is a foundational truth: God is a God of kindness, tolerance, and patience, and His kindness is what brings us to repentance. God wants us to experience His mercy, but in the same way as we receive it, we need to extend it to others.
Just as my husband’s reaction to me losing my key made me appreciate him more, God’s mercy does the same thing. When we experience it, we learn to appreciate Him in a deeper way. Today, may you experience the richness of Christ’s kindness, knowing that His mercy is extended to us in every aspect of life. Let us therefore receive it and then pass it along to others.
Original article published June 3, 2009.