Have you ever been surprised by kindness?
Perhaps you found yourself in the middle of a Starbucks pay-it-forward chain.
Or maybe it was the classic Aldi cart pass-the-quarter chain.
Chances are, you couldn’t let the kindness end with you. Most likely, you passed that kindness on to others.
Because kindness is contagious.
A few months ago, my husband and I watched a documentary about Fred Rogers. I didn’t grow up watching his show, so I was surprised to learn that he was a man who loved God and loved others.
He was friendly, generous, and considerate of others.
And I finished this documentary with a strong urge to sprinkle kindness everywhere I go. To be a little more like Fred Rogers.
Just like those Starbucks or Aldi examples, one person’s kindness makes us want to be kinder too.
And if anyone’s received abundant kindness, it’s us–the children of God.
Here’s how John puts it:
In Scripture, kindness is almost always paired with love.
It’s like kindness is the outward manifestation of the inner reality of love.
So when Jesus says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,” (John 13:35 NIV), He’s not talking about warm fuzzy feelings we keep locked inside our hearts, but rather about practical actions that overflow out of a heart of love.
Kindness is love with skin on.
And the fruit of the Spirit is kindness, because Jesus is kind.
So I wonder: how has God shown His kindness in your life recently? And who in your life could use a little kindness today?
Take a few minutes today to slow down and ponder those two questions. Our newest prayer episode will walk you through a simple time of resting in God’s presence and hearing his voice: The Fruit of the Spirit | Kindness.
And then ask yourself: Who needs to see Jesus’ love with skin on?
Kindness doesn’t have to be flashy or expensive.
Your gifts. Your words. Your very presence.
You can be God’s gift of kindness to someone today.
Because the Fruit of the Spirit is kindness.
(And while free coffee is my favorite kind of surprise, how you love your neighbor creatively today is totally up to you!)
From the podcast…
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40 NIV
Let’s begin by Reciting God’s Goodness, praising Him for who He is and what He has done in our lives…
O Jesus, You were kind and compassionate to all who came to You in need. Never once did You turn someone away who sought You with a sincere heart. You have been good and kind then, just as You’ve proven Yourself to be kind in my own life over and over again.
- “In the next few moments, praise God for how He has shown His goodness in your life recently.”
We continue by Expressing Our Neediness, confessing our need for Him and His forgiveness.
Dear Lord, I’m naturally selfish, looking out for my own interests instead of seeking ways to serve others. Forgive me. Help me humble myself to be friendly to strangers, generous toward the needy, and considerate to those in my own home. Through Your Spirit’s work in my life, make me tender-hearted and quick to forgive, just as You’ve forgiven me.
- “In the next few moments, confess to God how you have failed to love Him and love others and express your desire to abide in Him, so that His Spirit may bear much fruit in your life.”
Now we move into a time of Seeking His Stillness, becoming aware of God’s loving presence surrounding us and filling us this very moment.
Bask in God’s kindness toward you, and just sit quietly in His presence. Let His tender mercy soften your heart toward those you find hard to love.
Finally, let’s Trust God’s Faithfulness. I invite you to declare your confidence in God’s faithfulness to produce fruit in your life, to preach to your own heart and soul that He is trustworthy and He will take care of what you entrust to Him.
Lord God, You have shown Your everlasting loving kindness toward us, revealing your great mercy in Christ Jesus. Thank You for Your great kindness when I least deserved it. I trust You to continue working the fruit of Your Spirit in my life.
- “In the next few moments, say it out loud: “God, I trust that You will be faithful.”
Call to action (pick 2):
- Thanks for listening and reading along! If you’re trying to start a prayer habit, listen to this episode or re-read this post every day this week, and try personalizing the REST acronym with what’s on your heart that day.
For Further Prayer and Study:
1 John 3:18
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