by Dave Snider
You sit down at a restaurant to order. The wait staff is shorthanded so it takes them a minute (or 10) to get to you. You finally place your order. It eventually it arrives, wrong. Your daughter decides to help wash clothes, she starts a load. The next morning, you realize that the soured smell coming from the laundry room is your wet clothes you planned to wear that day. You’re in line at Lowes to check out and someone just cuts directly in front of you.
These are the small things that can absolutely get the best of us! We bite our tongues. How we respond in these situations is crucial! There are many aspects of the fruit of the Spirit that I could be addressing, but sometimes this can be a tough one for me.
It’s mentioned in scripture over 200 times. Ironically, the same amount of times per week that I have to encourage it with my children! Like most of the fruit of the Spirit, it just doesn’t always come naturally.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, KINDNESS, humility, meekness, and patience”colossians 3:12
Hmmm, I have to put it on? It’s not already on me if I’m a believer? Nope.
That is what Paul says. I have to put it on. I have to choose to make it a part of who I am. Thats tough because sometimes I don’t want to. I want to be right, not compassionate. I want to have what I need quickly, not be inconvenienced, or just not be involved. To be kind or meek would mean that I would have to put someone before myself.
Ouch. That stings a bit.
So many times we simply choose to leave the jacket that is kindness in the closet. We think if we just say nothing at all, or bite our tongues, then we are ok. We stay in neutral because thats safe and easy. Its not messy. That’s an issue though. We need each other. We need encouragement. We need to know we are valuable. We need to help one another. We need Christ! Gods Word says that His kindness is what leads us to repentance. Thats such good news for us! We need to share that kindness.
So how do we do it? Well, fruit grows best when we care for the plant and water it. Be in the Word and in prayer. Pray for a soft heart and thoughtful words and actions.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave us.Ephesians 4:12
Who needs you to be tenderhearted today? Zechariah 7:9 says that we should show kindness and mercy to everyone.
Who needs your forgiveness today? Romans 2 says the Gods Kindness leads us to repentance.
Who needs to hear about Christs kindness today? Maybe the waitress was the only one working and she was doing her best. Encourage her and tip her well. Your daughter meant well but forgot to load the dryer. Thank her anyway and tell her how proud you are that she took the initiative to help. The lady that cut you off in the checkout line has a story. Pray for her. There’s no telling what she’s been through this week.
Take it a step further. Who do you know that might be lonely and would appreciate a call this week? Did your neighbor have surgery? Do they need a meal? It’s not always having to respond to bad situations in a kind way. Sometimes its just thinking beyond ourselves and noticing those around us.
Pull that jacket out of the closet this morning and try in on. Don’t worry, kindness always fits. 🙂
Father thank you so much that Your kindness led me to repentance! Help me to never get over how kind and merciful You have been to me through Christ. Lord, please help me to put on a compassionate heart, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience today. Thank You that you call me holy and beloved because of Christ’s sacrifice. Help me to love others today like You do.
This is so wonderful and such a reminder!! Thank all of you for your time, compassion, and love for Christ!
I love reading these post… makes a great start to the day….