Anyone over the age of 30 may recognize the phrase Be kind, please rewind. In case you are not familiar with this term, it has to do with video tapes. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, if we wanted to watch a movie that wasn’t on one of the four or five local TV stations, we had to walk or drive to the local video store to rent a movie on a video cassette. One of the early problems with this system was the rewind issue. If the person before you who rented the same video did not rewind the video after watching the movie, you would have to take the time to rewind the video before you could watch the movie. This was not a quick process, and it was most certainly annoying. You would pop the video into the player, get settled into the sofa with a bowl of popcorn on your lap and a soda by your side as you press play on your remote (which was separate from the TV remote). It takes a moment or two for you to realize the video actually is at the end. You must click rewind and wait for the seemingly unending whirling of the tape to finish before you are able to enjoy the movie. Sadly, this had become such a problem, that video stores had to remind us in big, bold letters to BE KIND, PLEASE REWIND.
Sadly, kindness is not a natural quality for much of the human race. There are at least 40 verses in the bible that refer to kindness, including our verse for today’s devotional. In a nut shell, this verse is telling us to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving – just as God is toward us. It’s a challenge to be kind when we’ve been offended, the potential recipient of our kindness is a jerk, or we simply have our own issues and concerns that weigh on us.
God understands that kindness and forgiveness are not our natural tendency, but He still expects it of us. No one has shown greater kindness and forgiveness to the undeserving than God. Through Jesus, He has taken on the punishment for all of our sins – past, present, and future – and offers His forgiveness, which we simply need to accept to receive. I am so grateful that He offers His loving kindness to us without hesitation or reservation. He does not consider if we deserve it. We cannot earn it. He shows kindness to us, no matter what the condition of our heart.
It’s quite possible to go a whole day without seeing one person show kindness to another. If, however, each one of us sets aside our criteria to find a deserving person, the opportunity becomes much greater to change that. These days, it is most unlikely that we will be reminded to Be Kind, Please Rewind, but we can use the phrase as a reminder to offer kindness, even in its simplest form. When I just don’t feel like being kind to someone who certainly doesn’t deserve it, I need to remember the incredible kindness God has shown to an undeserving me.