"Love is patient, love is kind; love does not envy; love does not boast, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, is not selfish, is not easily angered, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in sin, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails..." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
The first act of love is patience. Patience requires holding our tongue when we want to lash out when we feel someone has wronged us.
The next way to show love puts us into action. Once we have held our tongue and not returned evil for evil, we can show kindness. We must consider others better than ourselves like Philippians 2:3 says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." If we think we are better than those around us chances are we aren't going to treat them with love and kindness. We are going to want them to make us happy and when they don't we are not kind to them.
The definition of kind is: 1. of a friendly, generous or warm-hearted nature 2. showing sympathy or understanding 3. humane; considerate 4. forbearing; tolerant 5. generous; liberal 6. agreeable; beneficial
The one I found interesting is "beneficial". Do people benefit from being around me? Do they come away feeling encouraged by my kindness? Or do they feel aggrivated because I was harsh with them? Do I make others burdens heavier or lighter? Am I one of their burdens!?
I have to work at cultivating kindness in my life every single day. But God wants me to be looking for ways to show His love to others. The Bible says that we are to "do unto others as you would want them to do to you." It says do unto others. We are to look for ways to make people's burdens lighter. If we see someone hurting or in need then we need to help them in any way we can. And a lot of times the people we need to show kindness to the most are the ones living under the same roof!
I pray everyday that the Lord would help me to be kind to those around me and the place I can start is with my own family. Just as God is working in my heart to cultivate patience, He is also working in my heart to teach me kindness.
- "When we truly care about people, we find ourselves paying attention to the circumstances of their lives and being concerned about their welfare." - Elizabeth George
- "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12
- "She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31:26