Last night as I was speaking to God, I asked him “What are you wanting to grow in me.”
He said “kindness.”
He showed me times in my youth that I was kind hearted, and bullied for it. I let others step all over me, because I didn’t know my true identity in the Lord yet. He said he wants to restore that part of me, and soften my heart for others again. He continued to show me areas in my life that I wasn’t expressing my love for others, or that my mindset was warped because of my fear of how they saw me. This lead to the revelation that we can’t give what we don’t have, and the reason why I couldn’t give my kindness to others is because I couldn’t receive it.
So the first step is asking God to show you his heart, and impart to you his kindness, for yourself. Then as you get your source from God, you can share out of overflowing the kindness of his heart. In the new testament, Jesus shares many times with great importance that the only commandment we have is love, to love God, and love others as we do ourselves. This sounds like a two step plan but there are really three steps.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind (Luke 10:27 NIV)” When we give our lives to God, we repent of our old ways of living, and we give our hearts fully to him. Loving him completely with our soul, strength, and mind. This means we have power and authority and we are to use it to for his purposes.
The second part of this is loving others as we do ourselves, but this starts in receiving God’s love, and learning to love ourselves well. This does not mean that we should think we are better than others, as this mindset comes from a place of brokenness, which God wants to heal. But it means that with time we can learn to know more and more, our true identity, that we are God’s masterpiece, his greatest creations, and he set apart each one of us before we were born, thought of us, and loved us before he even created us. Loving ourselves is not something we do once and that means we’re finished, but this is an ongoing process, through failing, and needing God’s grace, to learn to be kind to ourselves, give ourselves grace, and love ourselves just as God does.
So as we live from the source of God’s love, we learn to love others well. We are able to impart grace to them, show them kindness, heal their hearts, and even show them an example of God’s love for them. This is a powerful thing and you will start to see it grow in the culture you’re in if you practice it. Not only thinking good thoughts about others and expecting the best, but intentionally stepping out and performing acts of love for them.
If someone close to you has wronged you, the best thing to do is honor them with love, let them know, and raise them up to who they were truly born to be. Sometimes God has to do changes in peoples lives and hearts, and God will lead you to create boundaries with them. This is good, and kindness does not mean we should trust every single person and let everyone into our lives. But we can trust God with those people. We should intentionally forgive people that might have done wrong and ask God for the best step to take in living in this world with one another.
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)”
Lastly, the biggest thing to ask yourself, in any situation, with any person, is “Am I doing this out of kindness, love, and honor?” Because even if we are living out of great power in the world and making an impact if we aren’t doing it out of love, then we are doing nothing in the eyes of heaven.
” If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2)”