Living in the Will of God – 09 Lovingkindness
In part 08 of this blog series we talked about hardness of heart, and the fact that many of the churches through their silence, complacency, and indifference to the suffering of animals helps keep the problems alive.
The opposite of hardness of heart is what the Hebrew Bible expresses as lovingkindness, or having a heart, mind, and soul that feel the pain and suffering of the whole of God’s creation, and do everything in their power to free creation from its present corruption, with all its pain, suffering, and death, and give all of creation true and lasting peace. Note what we are told in Proverbs 16:6.
6. By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for,
And by the fear [reverence] of the LORD one keeps away from evil.
Iniquity, which is the result of peoples’ hardness of heart, is overcome with the lovingkindness of those who truly serve the Lord as peacemaking children of God. This is another way of saying that our reverence for the Lord keeps away the evil in the world so that we can live in the heavenly will of God.
In Proverbs 12:10, we are given an example of the roles our lovingkindness or the opposite (hardness of heart) play in our lives in our relationships with animals.
10. A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast,
But the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
A righteous man or woman, one who is living in the will of God, regards or has empathy for the lives of animals. This is the way they apply their lovingkindness to the world around them.
On the other hand, the compassions of the wicked, those who really have no compassion or empathy for they have hardness of heart, is cruel and evil, for it perpetuates the continuation of the animals’ fear, pain, and suffering.
These things also expose the root cause of all the violence in the world against humans and animals; our society is groomed from a very early age to be indifferent to the suffering of animals, particularly the ones that are put on our plates, and the way people ooh and awe over a once living animal such as a roasted turkey at Thanksgiving.
They are also exposed to the way people take joy in killing land animals and fish through “sport” activities, all of which shows that they have no regard for the lives of these so-called food and sport animals, because they have hardness of heart, and little or no lovingkindness, and this hardness of heart can easily extend to our fellow human beings.
We are not to be filled with the ways of the world, but filled to overflowing with God’s heavenly love, compassion, and peaceful will. We are to be peacemaking children of God for the benefit of the whole of creation.