KINDNESS from devotional standing firm
The fifth installment in our series of ten New Year Resolutions...
"Be kind to each other."
1 Thessalonians 5:15
As children, this was most likely the first lesson our parents taught
us in dealing with family members and friends. "Play nice" is a
common exhortation of parents wanting to instill the virtue of
kindness in their children. This is still true for us today in our
adult relation-ships. However, it is especially difficult showing
kindness to someone that has not extended the same kindness to us.
"The Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to
everyone, able to teach, not resentful."
2 Timothy 2:24
Kindness, especially when it is unwarranted, is the path to softening
a hardened heart. Quarreling and bickering closes a person's spirit
while kindness opens it up. As God's servant, you are called to
extend peace and kindness to everyone, including the spouse that has
jilted you. A closed heart will not listen to even the most inspired
witness. Through kindness, a hardened heart will become softer,
opening the spirit to hear one's words. As followers of Christ, we
are called to preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.
Actions always speak louder than words. Are your actions in
alignment with the words you speak?
"He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind
to the needy."
Who is more needy than a spouse that has left family and home, ignor-
ing the marriage covenant made before God, to seek that which leads
to darkness and death? Your spouse, whether he realizes it or not,
is in great need of your kindness. Sin will never satisfy. Holiness
and walking in obedience to God is the only true source of
happiness. God calls believers to be kind to the needy even when
that kindness is met with rejection and contempt. Do not despise
wrongdoing but always show kindness, mercy and love.
"Love is patient, love is kind."
1 Corinthians 13:4
We have discussed patience before. In the great "love" chapter of
St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, love is ever patient and
ever kind. Do you love your spouse this way? Do you show him
unconditional love in all your thoughts, words and actions? You can
love because Jesus first loved you (1 John 4:19). Do you realize the
awesome love that God has for you? He loved you (and your spouse) so
much that He sent His Son to die for your sins. Through Christ's
sacrificial love, wives too can love. Wives are called to love their
spouses as Christ loved the church, laying down His life for him
(Ephesians 5:25-28). If you lack love, ask God to help you open your
heart and mind to the realization of His great love for you. Let
God's love flow through you as you minister to your spouse in
"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone
else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning
yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we
know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based
on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do
the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do
you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and
patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward re-
God's kindness to the sinner leads to repentance. By showing kindness
to your spouse, not condemnation, you are opening the door to repent-
ance. Kindness is a healing balm; sweet to the taste and fragrant to
the senses. Kindness is always the right thing to do, even when it is
rejected. Plant the seeds of kindness and forgiveness and in due
time,you will reap a bountiful harvest.