4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance (Romans 2)?
Most of the time in the New Testament the one word translated here as think lightly is translated to despise something. The word itself literally seems to mean to look down on something, in this instance perhaps in the sense of to take for granted. “Yeah, I know: God is good and is good to us, yeah, I got that.” And yet, if it were not for God’s kindness and tolerance and patience towards sinners, not a single one of us would have ever come even close to the point of true repentance and faith.
We all desperately need His kindness and tolerance and patience to lead us there, for without them, we would remain eternally lost in our sin. None of us can boast that we on our own, came to our senses concerning our lostness and miserable spiritual state, or on our own became brokenhearted over our sins, or on our own figured out how to get ourselves out of the spiritual mess we were in. No, we were led there only because God was kind and tolerant and patient toward us.
Someone has said something like, “We’re all in much worse spiritual condition than we can ever imagine, and Jesus is a much better Savior than we will ever realize.” In this regard I think we can also say, “We are much more ungrateful to God than we imagine, and He is much more kind and tolerant and patient towards us than we will ever realize.” This is truly a gut punch.
Lord, forgive us for so many times thinking lightly of the kindness and tolerance and patience You have shown towards us! We have nothing and no one to boast in but You and You alone! Continue to humble us This Day in this regard. Amen.