Monday, October 6, 2008

The Admirable Quality of Kindness

Proverbs 3:1-4

What does it mean to bind kindness around our neck and write it on the table of our heart? It means that kindness should be a deep, central part of our life. Unfortunately, kindness doesn't automatically become one of our characteristics when we accept Christ as our Savior. We have to work at it-we must deliberately take responsibility for our actions and attitudes towards others, and choose to act compassionately toward others. So what are some things we should do to develop kindness?
  • First, we should realize that even though we don't immediately become kind at salvation, we do have the potential to exhibit kindness because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit develops the quality of kindness in us (see Gal.5:22).
  • Second, we must eliminate those characteristics, actions, and attitudes within us that stops us from being loving, tenderhearted, and useful. We cannot be selfish. Rather, we must lay aside the characteristics that do not fit who we are as believers in order for kindness to flow out of our life (see Eph. 4:31-32).
  • Third, we must focus on the needs of other people. As long as we are focused on ourselves-our needs, wants, desires, and plans-we are not going to be very kind. Yet, when we focus on others, we will become sensitive to who they are and what they need in life (see Col. 3:12-13).
  • Fourth, we must ask God to teach us to be kind. We must look to God to make us sensitive to the situations that need a special touch of kindness and to express His kindness through us. We do so with the hope that people will be attracted to Jesus Christ as their Savior (see Matt. 5:16).
  • Fifth, if we want to learn to be kind, we must practice kindness. Every day, we should ask the Lord, "Father, please show me at least one person I can be kind to today". We should look for opportunities to be kind and praise God whenever we find them, knowing that God is working through us whenever we show kindness to others.

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