Kindness: Psychologist John Gottman “can predict with up to 94 percent certainty whether couples … will be broken up, together and unhappy, or together and happy several years later.” What’s the key? Kindness, he says. “There’s a habit of mind that [the together and happy] have, which is this: they are scanning the social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They are building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully. [The broken up, the together and unhappy] are scanning the social environment for partners’ mistakes.”
Forebearance: In the parable of the tenants, a man leases his vineyard to tenants and then goes abroad. When the harvest arrives, he sends his servants one-by-one to collect fruit from the tenants. But they do not welcome the servants—they beat some and kill others. Jesus concludes, “He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally, he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him.” 
Love: In the face of their contempt, the landowner is kind. This is kindness—that God bore with great patience the rejection of his people, sending prophet-by-prophet until finally he sent his Son. John Piper says, “This love of God for his one and only Son was … an obstacle almost insurmountable. Could God, would God, overcome his cherishing, admiring, treasuring, white-hot, affectionate bond with his Son and deliver him over to be lied about and betrayed and abandoned and mocked and flogged and beaten and spit on and nailed to a cross and pierced with a sword like an animal being butchered. Would he really do that? Would he hand over the Son of his love? If he would, then whatever goal he is pursuing could never be stopped.”
Prayer: Lord, Your habit of mind is to scan our hearts for Christ. Yet we confess that we often show contempt for your kindness and forbearance, not knowing that your kindness is meant to lead us to repentance.  For on the cross we see that we are so sinful that Christ had to die and so loved that he chose to die. Forgive us for presuming on the riches of your kindness, and empower us to be kind to others. Amen.
 Mark 12:6-8 |  Romans 2:4