Before you say, “I don’t believe.” Chapter 5

How do you explain sheer human kindness?

You have probably used the phrase that ‘no one is perfect’, but can you go along with Jesus’ comment that “there is none good, only God.”? Every individual, outside of Jesus, fails and messes up. We live selfishly. And yet, almost paradoxically, people can be very kind, altruistic, self-denying. Kindness is loving people more than they deserve. It involves forgiving and forgetting.

But where does this kindness originate? If all nature is, as Alfred Lord Tennyson put it, ‘red in tooth and claw’, and humans are just selfish genes who put themselves first, why are some people so benevolent and kind? We know that acts of kindness can make us feel better about ourselves, but there are many people who just ‘have a heart of gold’. Where would we be without care and charity? Isn’t kindness a reflection of the character of our good God, who created us in His own image?

God created us in His own image. We are ‘fallen’, ruined people because of our rebellion against God. We act selfishly and sometimes nastily. Nevertheless, people can be very kind. It comes from our Maker. It is the way we were created. It is a hallmark of God’s purpose for us, remaining on us even though we have been battered and spoiled by what we have done and become.

There are other remaining marks of ownership and authenticity such as the desire for truth and justice, the longing for immortality, the sense of right and wrong, the love of life, the compassion we feel towards the suffering in our world.

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