The New Testament provides a proliferation of verses about kindness, especially what it should look like in us. When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, she will produce fruit easily recognizeable as traits of kindness...goodness, gentleness and kindness. Here is where we see that definition in the Greek - chrestotes - moral goodness, integrity with gentleness.
A myriad of verses demonstrate how to gain kindness and develop the character trait in us:
- Apply the benefits of God's promises in your life...which will result in kindness.
- Have an eagerness, real zeal, towards love, favor for others and mercy for anyone.
- Wear the garment of compassion and kindness.
What is in God, we must be deliberate to bring to ourselves. His promises provide proof of his eagerness to give. Wear the qualities of compassion and kindness - put them on and get comfortable. When you have these promises, when you are familiar and easily portraying kindness, an eagerness will develop for favor and mercy for all.
Then, we are given practical directives for acts of kindness...and they are not random, but rather deliberate:
- Be especially kind to those who are loyal.
- Help the sick.
- Be ready to provide an immediate response to need.
- Provide companionship and sustenance.
- Be welcoming.
And then the news gets deep:
- Be slow to avenge a wrong.
- Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them and don't be concerned that they might not repay. (Then your reward in heaven will be great...)
If you are not sure how to dig that deep, remember that God's kindness is your lead. His kindness extended to us even while we were sinners ourselves. Digging deeper includes being kind to ourselves in that truth: seek to stay in God's kindness. Seek the kindness of correction and realize that the rebuke of a friend is a kindness.
Most of all and, finally, Love is Kind. Kindness is an expression of love. I do want that character trait in me.
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