Thus, God is looking for a group of people who embody his kingdom. Since there is no greater power than self-sacrificial love to transform hearts, the kingdom of God must be focused on how people are and what they can become. In contrast, the kingdoms of this world focus on what people do and how that behavior can be controlled.
Two defining traits of kingdom-of-God-people are humility and loss. These are signs of the cross. Victory and "winning" are symbols of the sword, signs that the kingdom of the world is taking hold. To choose retaliation, violence, and self-interest is to choose the kingdom of the sword, not matter how justifiable such responses are.
Instead, as agents of the kingdom of God, we should promote humility. Jesus provided examples of this:
- when he taught about sacrificial love that loves one neighbor as oneself (Matthew 22:36-40)
- in his teaching about becoming like children and disregarding social privileges and advantages (Matthew 18:3-4)
- when he washed his disciples' feet as a servant (John 13)
- when he healed the ear of an enemy after Peter cut it off (John 18:10)
Boyd concludes this chapter by stating the only criteria that matters whether anything has value within God's kingdom is love. A chart illustrates several concluding points that contrast the difference between the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God.
What if we gauged our church's success or failure on whether we are loving others (especially enemies) as Jesus loved? This is the only way the kingdom of God grows and expands among us.