Kindness Goes a Long, Long Way
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
‘Be kind whenever possible, it is always possible’. Dalai Lama
I think we’ve all experienced it. When someone wasn’t kind to you. How did that make you feel?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
Most of the time, how we treat people or how we’ve been treated leaves a big impression on our hearts and minds. It can affect how we might even feel about ourselves.
I think we, people in general, forget that in God’s sight we’re all on the same level. There’s no one person better than another. We can emphasis someone’s good looks, someone’s wealth, someone’s influence, someone’s stature or position…these things make people seem to be someone more important than another.
But, all people are important. No matter where they are or who they are or what they do. All people are important and deserve kindness. Especially those who have not demonstrated kindness to you. Boy, am I speaking to myself. There is someone in my life who has worked hard to make some things difficult for me. Sadly, this person sets herself and her standards up as the benchmark for people to follow. When someone, in her perspective, has not done something right…she works HARD to prove it to others and becomes a thorn in the side. Perhaps that’s what Paul had to deal with…then He learned to let God handle his thorn in his side…and I have to learn that no matter what – God loves this person and I…I have to do the same. I have to love this person too and to remember to be kind to her.
Well, for the very reason why it’s important to remember that all people are equal. Because God loves them. God loves them SO MUCH that He gave His Son for them…and all they have to do is to choose Him. Until someone has taken their last breath – there’s a chance for them to have a relationship with God…
Also, one of the attributes of the Holy Spirit working in my life is kindness.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
I wonder if there’s a progression in the fruits of the Spirit. Does one learned lead to another…
First there is love. The two things Jesus Christ told us to do was to love God and to love others.
Then there’s joy. Experiencing the exquisite joy of knowing deeply that God loves you is incomparable…and you want to share it with others.
Peace…Experiencing the love of God that leads to joy brings about a deep sense of peace in your life. Sometimes events and people can get you sidetracked, but developing a full understanding of the peace of God…This will carry you through the best and the most difficult times in your life. You know who you are and your place in the family of God…you have a sense of being.
Forbearance...Having exercised love, joy and developed peace…you then can withstand a lot. You can ‘forbear’ when those difficult people and events come to your life…You may have to refocus your attention at times…but, it will always be there for you. You begin to look at things differently.
Which leads you to kindness. When you fully, deeply understand the tremendous love of God towards you and that you are to love others like He does. When you’ve experienced that exquisite joy that leads to peace and grants you the ability to forbear…Then, you can see and realize the importance of kindness.
And where does kindness lead? Being good to all people – goodness; faithfulness – being faithful to the ONE whom loves you so much…being faithful to those important to you in your life;
Gentleness – this goes so hand in hand with kindness. When we exercise kindness we can be gentle towards others. We’re not to use God’s word as a weapon…Jesus gave to those around them what they needed. Jesus demonstrated the greatest gentleness to those who came to him hurting physically, mentally and emotionally…We too can do the same.
Self-Control…I do think that all of these attributes once we learn and grow deeply in the LORD will grant us the ability to show the Spirit of God…we can then not react to others when we’re pressed by them. We can pause and see the situation for what it is and to see the greatest need. We can see the greatest need of the other person who may be trying to be a thorn in our flesh. We can show kindness.
I believe Christians should live in an opposite world. Do good not for the sake of gain – but for others. Be kind – always to everyone in every situation. Because…that’s showing them the heart and the Spirit of God.
How can we do any less than God has done himself?
“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,” Titus 3:4-6