Contemplating G-d’s kindness leads to repentance

The kindness shown to us by G-d is to help us have remorse and repent:[1]

The verse[2] states that after the blessing and curse befalls us, we will return to G-d. The question is raised as to how the blessing shown to us by G-d helps us return to G-d? The Baal Shem Tov explained this matter through a parable: There was a certain individual who sinned against his King. Rather than punish him, the King immediately benefited him with a high position in the monarchy, riches, and fame, until he eventually became the second in command. This cause tremendous turmoil within the heart of this individual, and he felt very remorseful for what he did especially now that he sees the kings loving and caring nature. This pain that he must endure for the rest of his life is much greater than any temporary pain that he would suffer if the king would punish him.

The lesson: Hashem grants us numerous blessings and acts of kindness within our lives, which we would see if we would only concentrate on them. This should lead one to growing closer to G-d, and be pained in doing those things contrary to His will. [This lesson can also be learned regarding interpersonal relationships. We naturally feel that we must enact revenge against those who have hurt us or offended us. From here we learn another method. Show the person kindness despite the bad things he did, and it may cause him to turn around and be remorseful for his actions. This strategy can be very useful amongst couples, that when one feels offended by his spouse, and his spouse clearly did something wrong, rather than fight with them over it, show them extra kindness and have them come to the realization by themselves. In other words: We don’t have to fight offenses only with punishment but can also battle it using kindness.]

[1] Keser Shem Tov 108; Toldos Yaakov Yosef Bo 45a

[2] Netzavim 30:1-2

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