- Whitney Hopler Live It Editor
- 2001 10 Aug
Here are some ways you can strive to be more kind:
- Rely on God's strength rather than your own. Ask God to give you compassion for others and enable you to help them in ways they need help.
- Take time to thank God for his presence in your life and the many kind ways He interacts with you. Be willing to freely give others the gift of your kindness, as you recall how freely God has blessed you.
- Never underestimate the value of a particular person or act of kindness. Each time you reach out to others with kindness, your effort is worthwhile. Not only that, but God will be pleased.
- Never overestimate your own role in situations. You must be humble to be an effective servant.
- Ask God to show you ways in which He would like you to extend kindness to people you regularly encounter (such as friends, coworkers and family members) as well as people you randomly meet. Devise a plan for performing acts of kindness for each of the people you know, taking into account their needs and desires. Pray to be ready to offer kindness to people you don't know when opportunities arise.
- Pay special attention to the needs of people who are poor, since God identifies with them. Explore ways that you can help the poor, such as by volunteering at a food pantry or homeless shelter and simplifying your lifestyle to use the Earth's resources more responsibly.
- With the Holy Spirit's help, forgive people who have hurt you.
- When serving others, respect their dignity and privacy.
- Don't expect other people to repay you when you're kind to them, but know that God will always reward you somehow for your kindness.
Adapted from Kindness: Reaching Out to Others from the Fruit of the Spirit Bible Studies, copyright 2001 by Phyllis J. Le Peau. Published by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.BibleStudyGuides.com, 1-800-727-3480.
Phyllis J. Le Peau is area director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Chicago West.