Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! Romans 11:22-24
When “the world” thinks of God – and they do – their first thought isn’t one of kindness, and especially as it contrasts with the other character quality listed here: sternness.
Recently we’ve been watching old television reruns and “The A-Team” is on our list. Strong, bulky Mr. T is there to knock heads around when necessary, but his character is extremely compassionate towards children and what they are subjected to. You can clearly see the contrast between sternness and kindness. It’s merely one human example we all understand: sternness and kindness in one person.
So then, how much more would God be with both of those characteristics? How about, ‘times infinity.’ The kindness and wrath of God are great, much greater than we can comprehend. So, when God says he will be kind to us as we continue in his mercy, we should not be ungrateful. And as always, he patiently awaits those who would come to Him.