KINDNESS...LOVE IS KIND

Today, we are going to examine the idea of kindness.

It is the second characteristic listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, and, WOW, does it have powerful implications and applications.

In American culture, we have often been well trained in the idea of looking out for Numero Uno, number one, me, myself and I. With very little ,or any, thought given to how our daily actions might affect those around us.

In fact, kindness is often seen as a sign of weakness, something that we Americans just don’t appreciate. Unless, that is, we ourselves have been at the receiving end of someone who lacks kindness, then all bets are off. We expect it….even demand it. We are appalled  that someone has had the audacity to treat us with anything else, but kindness!

Unfortunately, we often forget that kindness begets kindness. You know, the old concept, you sow what you reap. We treat people as we wish and then, expect a very different attitude to be given to us. It’s kind of lopsided, is it not?

So, if we are to be loving and being loving involves kindness, what does it look like in everyday living?

Well, let’s look at what kindness really means. The word “kind” used in this particular Scripture is from the Greek word, “chrēsteuomai”, which simply means to show oneself mild, to be kind or use kindness. So, what is kindness, then? Kindness means to be gentle, to show consideration or to be helpful, being benevolent, which means desire to do good to others.

Knowing what this means, you can see why I had stated earlier that it applications and implications are very broad. Kindness can, very literally, be applied to every area of our lives and extended to every single person in our lives, whether we know them personally or not. That is pretty wild to me. To think that God has given me a mighty tool to affect the lives of others and by doing so, change my own heart, as well. I become more conformed to His image with the practicing.

That being so, how can we apply kindness in our idea of organizing from the inside out and let folks know they are loved?

First, we need to acknowledge those areas that we do not show kindness and ask the Lord to help us stop being unkind. He died for us when we were still enemies of the Cross and guess what? In doing so, He showed us immense kindness and patience!

Secondly, we can ask the Lord how to begin showing kindness to all men. Not just the ones we like and who like us, but to all. After all, if we are to partake in the sufferings of the Lord, we, too, should demonstrate the same kindness that He poured out upon us, right?

Thirdly, look for practical ways to help someone. I was once told that just my smile made someone’s day brighter. This person was just a person passing on the street who I had chosen to smile at. Apparently, they needed that. Smiles are free and are easily given!

Perhaps you know someone struggling in this economy, you could share some of your food with them. It may be that you are acquainted with some students that need help with Algebra and you know Algebra like the back of your hand, maybe that is your way to encourage and show kindness, by helping them understand Algebra better, thus, relieving their stress.

There may be a person who aggravates the dickens out of you, maybe, just maybe, you could be the one to extend the hand of grace. Showing them kindness and patience, even if they do not extend it back. Jesus did not demand our love to be given Him, though He demonstrated His for us!

Finally, in the organizational realm, maybe you are a mother or father, a husband or a wife and you see your family members struggling to keep up. Maybe you could organize on of their drawers for them. A closet? Come alongside them to set up a list of things they need to accomplish in the course of the day, week or month.

Look for small items daily that you can encourage people with. Don’t overlook the most simple things…they, often, are the very things that make the most impact.

For me, today, I am going to focus on my children and husband. I have organized my day so that I can accomplish my homework, teach my younger children and then, prepare some surprises for them for Valentine’s Day, tomorrow. Life has been so busy, I think these surprises will refresh them a bit. (I will share more tomorrow, in case they are reading this today!  ;P)

Love is patient and love is kind.

In which ways will you purposefully seek to show kindness today? When you find those ways, will you share them and let me know how they changed you?

 

 

 

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