Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

wisdom, risk, and human virtue

3/24/17

 

Have you ever heard the expression: "you are too kind"?  I have, and I take it to mean that the person addressed has displayed exceptional kindness and not that they are kind to the point of a fault. I don't assume that the speaker thinks that the kindness shown was excessive and maybe foolish. But, perhaps, I read too much of my own interpretation into these words.

 

In prevailing political rhetoric, the idea of excessive and foolish kindness is frequently expressed. Kindness is quite often depicted as foolish because it costs too much and requires personal sacrifice. It is common to hear that people and nations who display exceptional regard for the less fortunate are not just foolish but down right dangerous. Personal security and well being are portrayed as vastly more important than all else, justifying the setting aside of common virtues

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A typical refrain from critics of undue kindness is to note that some take advantage of the kind hearted. Undoubtedly some do but does that make the kindness less worthy? Many apparently think that one or two undeserving or unappreciative recipients of kindness make the entire benevolent exercise worthless and a dramatic mistake.

 

I suspect that when we observe an act of extraordinary kindness, something beyond what we would do, we experience subconscious guilt. That emotional response then triggers a negative reaction toward that kindness in an attempt to justify our own reluctance to be as kind. If exceptional kindness can be redefined as foolhardy and risky, then our failure to mirror kindness can be mentally transformed into personal wisdom. It is the sort of operation which naturally appeals to our ego or the carnal mind, in the words of the Apostle Paul.

 

We should accept that exceptional virtue is an inherently risky business. Kindness, in a sense, is an act of heroism. An individual or nation that strives to be exceptionally virtuous will have to accept the risk, much as Jesus accepted risk in his life.

 

Included in that risk is the certainty that some will condemn any virtuous act as just the opposite, again exactly as Jesus experienced. As in the old saying: no good deed ever goes unpunished.

 

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