Kindness vs. Thermoplastic

My truck this morning is carrying a large box filled with countless pieces of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, commonly known as Legos. Yes, every Lego my four children own—and I do mean every little brick, special piece, and Lego people part—is in a large box encompassing half the back seat of my truck. Wow, we have a lot of Legos! My retirement fund is secured not in gold bricks but in Lego bricks.

I confiscated all the Legos this morning after the children were arguing at DEFCON 1 over a particular Lego piece. They were not embodying the derivation of the word Lego, namely “play well.”[1] Altercations have periodically been going on over several weeks, each time a different piece of thermoplastic the focus of the argument. So, I informed the children that the Legos were going into “time out” until they have a chance to reflect on Ephesians 4:32, “be kind to one another.” We are not going to sacrifice brotherly love for a piece of plastic.

It is difficult to carry out the Christian walk Paul outlines in Ephesians 4:17-32. Praise God that those of us who proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior have put on a “new self” (v. 24) and the Holy Spirit aides us in our Christian walk. Yet, we have to “lay aside” (v. 25) our former selves. This is counter to the fallen world in which we live. Ruminate on the political debates that bathe all the media channels and ask if they reflect the following:

  • “laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you” (v. 25)
  • “be angry, and yet do not sin” (v. 26)
  • “he who steals must steal no longer” (v. 28)
  • “let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” (v. 29)
  • “let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (v. 31)
  • “be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other” (v. 32)

No, the contemporary political debates are the antithesis to the Christian walk Paul exhorts us to embody. Unfortunately, I’ve attended church business meetings that had the decorum of a secular political debate rather than an atmosphere of brotherly love. Moreover, I’ve observed brothers and sisters in Christ tear each other down in the social media realm. It’s as if the church has forgotten John 13:34-35:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

How we act toward one another is a testimony of Christ to the world. We are to be ambassadors of Christ recognized by being “kind to one another.” I was encouraged by how Steve Gaines and J.D. Greear placed brotherly love and unity above politics at the SBC annual meeting this year.[2] Both men were willing to withdraw their names as nominees for SBC president in order to preserve unity in the body of Christ and to honor Christ in brotherly love.

In the grand scheme of eternity and the reality of the lostness around us, the things over which we argue are most often inconsequential. So, stop arguing over preferences in the church, tweets, errant blogs … or even Legos. First and foremost, “be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other” (Eph 4:32), for “by this all men will know that you are [Jesus’] disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

[1] “Lego” is derived from the Danish phrase “leg godt,” meaning “play well.”