Righteous and Kind

Posted on 24th May 2021 under The Rectory Bulletin | Westminster Confession of Faith


“The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.” (Psalm 145:17)

There is a stereotype which suggests that people who seek to do the right thing, to be righteous in all their dealings, are therefore forbidding and cold people. It’s as if they spend their time measuring other people up to their standards, and judge them harshly when they fail.

If that is the case for humans, then it would be tempting to apply that stereotype to God. And then magnify it a hundredfold since God is far more righteous than any human could hope to be. It is not uncommon to hear people draw up this picture of God, and then reject him on the basis that they can’t believe in a God like that.

Now leaving to one side the issue that God exists whether or not we believe in him, we must acknowledge that Bible does not describe such a God to us. Yes, he is “righteous in all his ways” but he is also “kind in all his works”. God’s holiness sits alongside his mercifulness. God may be the judge, but he is also the one who sent his Son so that we might be forgiven. God is “kind”.

Here is a great balance to be struck when thinking of God. To have a God who is simply kind is to risk having a God who is unjust, letting people off the hook. To have a God who is simply righteous is to risk having a judgmental God. To have a God who is both righteous and kind; well that is a most comforting balance. God judges, but God forgives. What a God we have!

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