KINDNESS, The Kind We Don't Mind - Part 5
Welcome to The 9 Now! If you are just joining, we are on a weekly series revealing a view into the 9 Fruits of the Spirit. During this series, I will share a Word of Encouragement on how the intentional decisions we choose to respond with, impact ourselves and others. Our decision to live in the Flesh or walk by the Spirit, is a choice we must all make daily. I invite you to post a comment, quote, or scripture that would encourage others from what you have learned or wish to share. Thank you and may you encourage someone today, and may someone encourage you!
As we move to the Fifth fruit of The 9 NOW series (Second under the label We Respond With), we are learning that God provides us the Love, Joy, and Peace needed to respond with Patience, Kindness, and Goodness. Today we turn our focus to KINDNESS.
The War is Real…
“Do you want a massage?”
“Do you want to get something to eat?”
“Are you OK? Can I lay by you?”
Honey, I am trying to write.
This is a conversation between my wife and I on the day I am writing about Kindness. WHY? Why can’t I be kind? Why can’t I just say, “no thank you or it’s OK honey, thank you but I’m OK.” How can I write about a topic of Kindness when I am not even being kind myself? Because God is giving me material. He is equipping the called. He is humbling the teachable. He is loving the unlovable. The war between the flesh and the Spirit is real. The closer we get to sharing the truth the greater the opposition. An opposition that is more personal. More in your face. More frequent. If you find yourself praying with or over someone, you will find opposition from the enemy who wants to keep you from sharing, encouraging, or honoring God. Reject the resistance that may derail you. Keep moving forward. Hear The Truth. Keep your eyes and mind on Him.
The truth that God desires us to know, is that we are to stop walking in the flesh, fight the urges and desires that interfere in our life, and walk in The Spirit. Do you believe you are called to “Rise to a Life of Service”? I do and I did. But, not without the knock out blows from the enemy and not without the prayers from our loving Heavenly Father. How do I know? This is shown in Luke 22:31-32 (NIV).
“Simon (Insert Your Name Here), Simon (Insert Your Name Here), Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
He prayed. He prays. He strengthens. He encourages. He reveals. The Lord of the universe. The King of Kings. The Prince of Peace. The Father, our Father prays for us. That is immense kindness and that is love. Linked together, forever bonded, never to be broken.
Decoding your Heart…
Kindness is a choice and whether we choose to respond with human kindness or spiritual kindness is a reflection of our heart. Take for example the person who does chores because there is a gift in return or the man who gives his co-workers credit on the latest assignment because the co-worker recently acknowledged him on something similar or saying something kind about someone at church because last week they said something kind about you. These are conditional acts of kindness. The flesh is responding out of obligation, not love. Conditional kindness is not about the other person, it’s about you. It’s about what you get, how you’re recognized, or who is considering you. While you are kind, your heart behind the response is of the flesh and unfortunately, the flesh appears to be the default response for many in our society. Kindness has taken a back door to our busy lives, selfish attitudes, and lack of cultural expectations which many of us grow up learning. Respect and kindness is lacking, but not forgotten.
As I wrote this post I was disappointed in my behavior towards my wife. Initially, I wondered what I could do to make it up to her. This was conditional and I needed to reject that immediately. Instead I responded with…change. I realized, the best thing I could do would be to earnestly seek to change. Making my default response to walk by the Spirit would lead me to respond in kindness. The outcome may not always be what she wants, but how she is treated and loved would be. To change means I surrender my responses to The Spirit of God and take instruction and counsel from Him, not my inner flesh desires. I learn what this looks like, sounds like, and feels like by immersing myself in prayer and learning to hear the often soft sound of His voice. I resurrect the kindness I have in me as a believer in Jesus Christ by studying His Word, especially verses like Isaiah 54:10 (NASB)
“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you,
And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,”
Says the Lord who has compassion on you.
Conditional kindness is defeated immediately once we acknowledge and receive the truth that God gave us His kindness and that should be all we need to offer it, without limit, to everyone.
If you found this post to be thought provoking, encouraging, or moved in your heart, please share a comment, quote, or scripture to help others to be encouraged today.
The next fruit we will be Goodness, stay tuned.
Until next time…
Chris Hewitt, the WOE Writer