“We exist in a world eating away at itself.” This sentence is found on the first page of Rich Villodas’ new book, Good and Beautiful and Kind- Becoming Whole in a Fractured World (Waterbrook). Our culture has become fractured by ugliness, hostility, and hatred. The fragmentation is eating away at our social life and even worse, the divisiveness has infiltrated the church world – wreaking havoc on our spiritual health and trashing our witness before the world. How can the people of God become agents of grace and goodness, of beauty and kindness?
Villodas offers us a Christ-centered way of living as agents of grace in a world that is being ripped apart. The divisions in our society are created by sin, trauma, and the powers and principalities of systemic unrighteousness. Sadly, the church is not immune from the temptation of contentiousness. As God’s people, we can resist falling prey to the chaos through prayer, humility, gentleness, and empathy. Forgiveness and justice can deconstruct many of the walls of hostility that divide us. When we follow God’s call to live as agents of love for both Him and our neighbor, we will inherently reflect the goodness, kindness, and peace of God.
Upon finishing Villodas’ book, I reflected on Jesus’ assertion that the world will know we are Christians by our love, along with Paul’s claim that love is the greatest gift of God. If you ask the typical non-Christian to describe the Christian community, would they call us a people of love, kindness, goodness, and beauty? Would they use such adjectives to describe you or me? It’s a question we should routinely consider if we want to heal our broken world. May God’s Spirit lead us into a new era of love and kindness. The world surely needs it.
-Darrel Holcombe, Owner
Sanctuary Christian Books and Gifts
Colonial Promenade, Alabaster