At Compassion, we stress being kind to the poor, because “whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31). But sometimes, we leave the virtue of kindness under-examined. Kindness, a fruit of the Spirit, can be considered weak or un-macho — a virtue for the nice, older women in our midst.
Kindness and gentleness should mark all of our words, attitudes and actions as Christians. Nice old ladies didn’t create the virtue of kindness, God did. Jesus is the epitome of kindness. We are called to be kind to one another.
“There is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:11–12).
This verse could perhaps be paraphrased for our context like this: “There is no American or Burkinabe, GMC or field, GPA or Strategy Integration, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, write your e-mails and conduct your conversations with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
It’s easy to let our kindness fade in favor of busyness and brusqueness. But if we are unkind, are we prey to doing good works for God, and not through Him?
I am certainly guilty of this: getting wrapped up in the busyness of the day, rather than pausing to thank God for allowing me to serve Him. I forget to ask Him to fill me so that I can go about His business with humility, kindness and gentleness.
Many of us are busy and stressed out. But consider the change you could make in your co-worker’s day by just a small gesture of kindness. After all, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up” (Proverbs 12:25).
Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. — Colossians 3:12, NIV
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that we have the honor of not just working for You, but of working through the power of Your Holy Spirit. Please fill us today with Your Holy Spirit, enabling us to be like Jesus: humble, kind and gentle.
Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.