Learning to harness the underrated superpower of kindness.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”
In a recent study of thirty-seven cultures from around the world, researchers presented over sixteen thousand subjects with this question:
What is the most desirable trait in a friend or mate?”
For both men and women, the answer was “kindness.”
What does this tell us? People want to be treated kindly, even if they have a hard time being kind themselves. Why is this such an evident human need but such a challenge to walk out?
Here are a few thoughts.
Kindness has to be learned.
As we shed our old carnal nature and take on our new nature in Christ, we grow in our daily walk with God. There, He helps us shed ourselves of ourselves so we can focus on serving others.
Kindness is underrated.
We equate kindness with being “nice.” The Bible presents a very different portrait of kindness. Kindness is a fruit of the supernatural ability that God has given us to love our enemies, to serve those that could never pay us back, and to pierce even the hardest of hearts. Kindness reflects the heart of our Father.
Some people think kindness is weak.
Proverbs 21:21 says, “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honor.” But what does the act of kindness really look like?
1. Kindness is intentional.
Kindness isn’t really kindness until it’s demonstrated. Make it a daily practice to walk through your day slowly, looking for an opportunity to be kind. A little kindness goes a long way: A compliment, an encouraging word, opening a door, or sending a quick note of thanks. These small daily habits can be a game-changer for someone.
2. Kindness requires self-sacrifice.
I Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient, love is kind.”
Learning to demonstrate the love of Christ in kindness to others requires that we live beyond ourselves. One of the greatest things we can do when we’re dealing with life’s difficulties is to serve someone else who has a greater need.
3. Model kindness first to your loved ones.
Guilty as charged! For me, it’s sometimes easier to overlook the demonstration of kindness first to those under my same roof.
Don’t miss those golden, selfless opportunities to model kindness to your spouse, your children, and even your mother-in-law!