Love is Kind
Prepare your Heart
Spend some time reading today’s verses multiple times. Make sure to read them in context of the verses around them, the chapter they are in, and the book they are in. Before beginning today’s devotion, take time to prepare your heart before the Lord in prayer. Ask that God, through His Spirit, would bring to life the truths of today’s verses and help you see how they apply to your life. While this journal is a tool to guide your time with the Lord, nothing can replace the power of personal prayer and preparation.
“Love…is kind” — 1 Corinthians 13:4
“Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” — Jeremiah 31:3
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” — Romans 2:4
If you were to only watch the news or only read comments on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you would think we live in a cruel and incredibly unkind world. I cannot explain the lack of kindness and generosity found on social media, but I bet you can think of someone in your life that is or has been particularly kind to you. You can see their face in your mind and remember their kind deeds. Love is kind. It is active goodwill, serving, and gracious. Mark Twain called kindness “a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can read.” Everyone can understand the language of love. It is the language understood by people from every nation, rich and poor, old and young, male and female. Kindness is a universal language because it does not speak to the intellect, but directly to the heart.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30). The word He used for “easy” is the one translated “kind” in 1 Corinthians 13:4. Jesus loves all those who belong to Him and come to Him because His love is kind or mild. He is not harsh or aggravated. He does not want to rule over you like a school taskmaster. He summons you to Himself as one who will treat you with gentleness, grace, and kindness.
The great testing ground for love is the home. Those who live with you see you for who you really are. You cannot hide behind an impressive Instagram or Facebook profile. Your family sees you after a hard day, observes your knee-jerk reactions, and takes note of your failings. You are vulnerable in your home. Your pride tries to make room, but struggles to settle in. Authentic love is showing kindness when you have every reason to be irritated. Paul Harvey told about a man named Carl Coleman who was driving to work when a woman accidentally hit his fender. The young woman surveying the damage was distraught. It was her fault, she knew and admitted it. But it was a new car, only two days from the showroom. How was she ever going to face her husband? On the first piece of paper to tumble out, written in her husband’s distinctive hand, were the following words: “In case of accident, remember, Honey, it’s you I love, not the car.” Love is kind.
Questions for Thought:
- What are some examples of kindness you have seen or experienced? What made it kind? What effect did it have on you or the other person?
- Do you recognize the kindness of God in your life? How have you seen it manifested?
God’s Mission, Your Mission
Perhaps you’ve seen this famous quote: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it, or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
Days go by so quickly. Monday quickly turns into Friday, then it’s another week. The months and the years can seem to go by quickly. We get into our routines and can struggle to slow down long enough to notice the many opportunities to show kindness. Will you do that this week? Will you slow down, notice the people around you, look for opportunities to show kindness, and then act on those impulses? All it takes is for you to be willing to be inconvenienced and open your eyes to the possibilities around you. Perhaps your kindness will absolutely change everything for an unsuspecting person.