I often forget that kindness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Stressful times seem to bring sharp words from my lips. Then I think about Jesus’ kindness and pray once again for forgiveness and for kind words to flow.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
A kind word
A friend of mine shows kindness in both her words and her actions. I, on the other hand, withhold kind words at times. When I realize my sin of unkindness, I immediately think of my friend. And besides the perfect example of Jesus, King David also comes to mind.
David, of the Old Testament, faced stress and hardship often, yet exhibited kindness to even the undeserving. He was considered “a man after God’s own heart” for many reasons. He loved God and obeyed him, asking Him for advice, and spoke to God like a son to his father. He meditated on the Lord’s word “day and night” and trusted him implicitly.
The Old Testament tells of David’s devotion to King Saul, his predecessor, even though Saul out of jealousy and rage hunted David down for years. David hid in caves, ran for his life, and feared the king but never spoke against him.
After David’s enemy Saul died and David became king, he asked a surprising question. “Is there no one still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” (see Second Samuel 9:3)
One man turned up—Mephibosheth, “crippled in both feet” since childhood—a worthless member of society and the grandson of David’s enemy, Saul. But because of his love for God, David kindly offered Mephibosheth land and servants and an invitation to dine at David’s table for the rest of his life. David’s kindness is a perfect picture of how God loves us.
Kindness also comes in the form of a considerate act by a man for his wife or a wife to her spouse. It displays itself when a parent spends time listening to a child, or when a youngster sends a greeting card to a grandparent. Kindness is a smile and a cheerful word for the crabby sales clerk and it’s a prayer and a blessing spoken for the guy who cuts his vehicle in front of yours.
Kindness is love in action—caring more for others than for ourselves. We all want it, we all need it and we all crave it. When we willingly and joyfully give it to others, we receive it for ourselves as well.
“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” (Proverbs 12:25)
Lord, forgive us when we have not been kind to others. Help us to be aware of their needs. Show us ways we can show kindness today by our words and actions, not to impress but to bless. In Jesus’ name, amen.