God’s Words: Kindness
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
The people who had the greatest impact on my life were those who displayed the quality of kindness to me. When I think of kindness, I immediately think of my mother, the kindest person I have ever known. I don’t remember my mom ever saying one harsh thing to anyone — ever. She always found the best in people, and that quality became so contagious in her life.
I remember a specific incident when I treated her very inconsiderately. To my surprise, she did not respond angrily as I deserved, but instead showered me with kindness — even though I had hurt her. Because of her kind response, I never treated her poorly again.
What does it mean to be kind?
Kindness means to be gentle with people no matter how they treat you. If we are unkind and disrespectful to someone, he or she will not be motivated to listen to what we have to say. I believe that God wants me to treat each person with great kindness, so this is how I live my daily life. For example, you can say nice things to people and be pleasant with them — especially to those who are having a rough day. The Bible says that a gentle answer actually turns away anger that may be directed towards us (Proverbs 15:1).
How can you guard your speech?
Have you ever been short with someone? Did you just speak your mind to them without really thinking about what you were saying? Well, I certainly have, and the results have never been good. However, I find that everyone appreciates it when I guard my speech and say kind words. We never know what people are going through in their lives and how a kind word may impact them. People without Christ are often hurting in some area, and we can become God’s tool that reaches out and touches them. Kindness can open many doors to minister to others.
How does kindness affect other people?
One elderly woman in our church always reminds me of what an angel must be like. She is so gentle and so calm, and every word out of her mouth is a word of kindness. Her very presence makes others feel peaceful and relaxed. Her kindness is so real and so sincere that I could never imagine someone saying something ugly to her. Kindness creates an atmosphere where people will not be inclined to be harsh to others. In a word, kindness is contagious.
How do I actually show kindness to people?
Colossians 3:12-13 says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
The biblical phrase in this verse “put on then” is a great picture of what it means to be kind. When we’re putting on our clothes, we have to make a decision on which clothes to wear. The same thing is true when you are choosing your attitude for the day. You can either choose kindness, grumpiness or some other attitude.
God wants us to become comfortable in the “spiritual clothes” that he commands us to put on — being merciful, showing kindness, being humble, patient, and forgiving of others. These are great spiritual qualities to “put on,” and we will find that God will use them in our lives to touch other people. So, consider “putting on… kindness” and watch how God uses it in your life!
Pray this week:
Lord Jesus, please give me a deep desire and strength through Your Holy Spirit to show kindness and grace to everyone I meet, no matter what the circumstances.
If someone were to treat you harshly, would you be willing to “turn the tables” and show them great kindness?