(Photo: In Touch Ministries)
Yesterday we read about the fruit produced in a Spirit-filled life and noted that all the other qualities are expressions of the first one-love (Gal. 5:22-23). Author Ray Stedman explains, "After all, joy is love enjoying itself; peace is love resting; patience is love waiting; kindness is love reacting; goodness is love choosing;faithfulness is love keeping its word; gentleness is love empathizing; and self-control is love resisting temptation."
Let's focus on kindness, which he says is how love reacts. It is revealed in . . .
• Generous thoughts that look for the good first.
• Sensitive words that are spoken to the unruly for discipline and the well-behaved for praise.
• Considerate responses that are made in the face of anger or injustice.
• Intentional actions that benefit others without personal gain.
Think of your responses over the past week. Might there be any irritation, impatience, or words you wish you could take back?
Kindness is not something that we put on for certain occasions, like a piece of jewelry; rather, it is an attribute of God's that He desires to reproduce in us. Take time to bow your head and acknowledge how kind your heavenly Father has been to you. Confess any acts of unkindness, and receive the forgiveness He promises (1 John 1:9). Then ask Him to continue working through the Holy Spirit to develop the fruit of kindness in you. Tell Him you know that is one of the qualities He delights in and you desire it to be evident in you.