LOVE IS KIND!
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Cor. 13:4-7
Love is KIND!
Yesterday, we started in the next and final leg of our journey through cultivating the “LOVE” fruit of the spirit and recognized that love is the “super-fruit” that all of the other fruits spring from!
In and of itself, the “love” fruit produces other, unique fruit.
We noted that love is patient.
Today we note that love is KIND.
Kindness is also another fruit of the spirit which we will concentrate on for forty days straight so today we will think about it much like we thought about patience yesterday.
Kindness is evidenced by goodness and charitable behavior, a pleasantness, tenderness and concern for others. According to Aristotle, kindness is an emotion manifesting itself by the desire to help somebody in need, without expecting anything in return. We are often spurred to kindness in an effort to alleviate someone else’s suffering.
Being kind to another person is one way you can often lift yourself out of doldrums, self-pity or lack of motivation.
Or, maybe you just want to brighten someone’s day.
This can even be something you do professionally. Maybe you log into Linkedin and take a look at your list of contacts. You know that your accountant John Smith does a great job on your taxes each year. Have you taken five minutes to write him a recommendation or endorse him?
If your are selfish, chances are you have difficult time being kind.
Think of children fighting over toys and not sharing.
Think of people with abundant food not wanting to share with people who have none.
Think of people who walk by a homeless person and say things like, “get a job.”
Kindness means giving. And it often means giving sacrificially.
Love is KIND When You Give!
If you are giving “kindly” you are probably not delving too far into whether the person “deserves” it. Maybe the person hasn’t even asked for your help, but you help anyway. You are instead giving it because you are prompted to give and follow through on it.
If you feel that prompting or nudging to be kind and to give, I’d urge you to ACT on it because that’s God’s Holy Spirit doing the nudging. And if you ignore the nudge, at some point you will receive fewer “nudges.” And you are the one who is poorer as a result. In contrast, if you respond and act on the “nudge”, not only will the Holy Spirit “nudge” you more often, but He will “nudge” others to be kind to YOU and so on, and so on, and so on.
I will give a quick and personal example. I attend a downtown church. Downtown where I live is kind of quiet on the weekends with stores closed and homeless in the parks and asking for money outside some of the many downtown churches.
One day I came out of church carrying my bible and walked the few blocks with my preschool daughter to the place we’d parked. And there was a guy sitting on a bench on the sidewalk right in front of where I’d parked my car who was apparently homeless. I will admit to some fear and reticence to interact with him. I instead secretly hoped he’d not solicit me for money so I could get my daughter safely into the car. It was also a day when I actually had cash with me for some strange reason. Two fifty dollar bills. I felt a bit vulnerable. But the guy was quiet, focusing on listening to his headphones and didn’t bother me.
So I got into my car and started the engine. I felt the nudge. “Give that guy one of the fifties.” I immediately started arguing internally, “I paid my tithe, I gave extra, my daughter is here in the car.” Yes I know it was SUNDAY and I had just come FROM CHURCH and the guy had seen me get in the car with my bible!
Yes I am often one of THOSE PEOPLE.
So I left my daughter sitting in the car seat.
Got out of the car and handed him the fifty.
Said something like, “I think you could use this.”
He looked up in shock.
“Why are you giving this to me?”
“Because you didn’t ask me. Maybe you wanted to, but you were considerate that I had my daughter with me and my hands full. God bless you.”
I have probably missed many more of these opportunities than I have taken.
This makes me sad for myself and for my child.
My daughter SAW me do this, and asked what I was doing. I told her something simple like God told me to give that man money and that Jesus did things like that.
Does this mean I am telling you to hand out fifty dollar bills to the homeless that don’t ask for money?
Only if this is what God tells you to do.
What I AM telling you is always be kind when He reminds you and nudges you. It isn’t always money. It can be letting someone cut in front of you in line at the supermarket, holding a door or even giving quite sacrificially of something you think you need to keep! Thank Him for the opportunity to be kind to another.
Kindness is so powerfully and wonderfully contagious.
Love is KIND!
All the Best in 2013,