Next up, “Love Is” kind. So how do we going about doing kindness when we by nature are self-seeking and self-lovers? Allow me to provide five points of application that will greatly assist you to obey God in this area.
#1 Depend on the Holy Spirit
First, just as we learned last week with patience, genuine kindness will not come naturally. Even our best efforts will not produce the kindness God desires. Galatians 5:22, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness…” The Holy Spirit will provide opportunities. Kindness will flow from God, through us, to others. We will naturally function as the "Good Samaritan" (Lk. 10). When the cycle operates in this way, our extension of kindness is genuine, others receive divine goodness and God receives all the glory.
#2 Remember God’s kindness with you
Second, be sure to always remember how kind God is with you both before you were saved and even now after you are saved! His kindness leads us to repentance. Romans 2:4, "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" His kindness is put on display through us. Ephesians 2:7, "So that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." God’s patience holds back His wrath while His kindness extends to us immeasurable blessings of love.
#3 Follow the example of Jesus
In Luke 6, Jesus gave us this instruction. "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you… If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount" (Lk. 6:27, 28, 32-34). Did you notice the ones He specifically chose that should receive our kindness? The very ones we often exclude - Our enemies and those who cannot repay us! And why are we commanded to be kind to these individuals? Because that is the example we are to follow from our heavenly Father! In verse 35 Jesus said, "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men."
#4 Pray for others
The fourth way we can develop a kind heart for others is to pray for them. Prayer has a unique ability to soften our heart and change our attitude toward someone. It’s rather difficult to hate someone you are praying for. Furthermore, prayer for others promotes kind actions. It’s very convicting to pray for another’s needs and then fail to act on them when the Holy Spirit makes them plain to you.
#5 Remember the Golden Rule
Last, remember the "Golden Rule." In Matthew 7 our Lord said, "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets" (Mt. 7:21; Lk. 6:31). It’s a simple yet very profound guideline. Do unto others! We all have the capacity to know how we would like to be treated. Make every effort to treat others in like manner.
We must not be those who grieve about the lack of kindness done to us. We must be those who grieve about our self-focus that deters us from doing kindness to others. We must not be guided by what others are doing. We must be part of the solution. We must get ourselves in the habit of doing kind deeds. We must remember the blessing it is to receive kindness, but the greater blessing to extend kindness to another. As our Lord told us, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Ac. 20:35). Never forget Christian that God “prepared good works beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). We must "not lose heart in doing good" (Gal. 6:9).