Week #1 of The Love Tune-Up is done. How’d y’all do on your patience challenges last week? I have to say being more patient definitely makes for a better week. I managed to answer 101 “why?” questions without snapping, and I also took time out of my “doing” to watch a little t.v. with the hubs. The other big thing for me was getting into bed before 11:30 p.m. I even managed to slip in a few bedtimes around 10:30 p.m. Let me tell you, being well-rested, is certainly key to becoming more patient. I didn’t feel on edge and found my tolerance level jumped a few levels. While I’m far from being a changed woman,I see now how being patient (and rested) will improve my every day life and my relationships with others.
This week we’re moving on to the second aspect of love:
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (I Corinthians 13:4-8 NASB)
- chiefly dialect : affectionate, loving
- (a) of a sympathetic or helpful nature, (b) of a forbearing nature : gentle, (c) arising from or characterized by sympathy or forbearance
- of a kind to give pleasure or relief
Synonyms: attentive, considerate, thoughtful, solicitous
Antonyms: heedless, inconsiderate, thoughtless, unthinking
Why Being Kind Matters
And this is when I begin to feel completely unfit to lead a series on Love. As I read through the definition of kind, along with its synonyms, it struck me that none of these things really come naturally to me. I imagine my selfishness has a lot to do with it. Trust me when I say that I have to consciously work at being kind, and what I am able to do is totally a God-thing.
If left up to my own devices, I’d take care of self first. Or, I’d wait until you’d deposited enough kind tokens in my bank before I showed you the same. Not to sound cliche, but what has helped me in this area is a steady feasting on God’s word, time in His presence and sincere praise and worship. As I understand more and more how he loves, it’s hard not to show His level of kindness towards others.
Life is so much more enjoyable when we’re around kind people and have the opportunity to be kind to others. The rough patches are easier to bear when a kind word is spoken to us. It’s easier to move forward when we receive unexpected–but much-needed–help from a family member or friend. The pains of life melt away with a big, sincere hug. And then there’s the unmistakable joy you feel from receiving a no-strings attached, just-because gift.
Life is hard enough. If we lived the way I’m naturally inclined to live, where we all had to wait until we were “worthy” enough to receive such acts of kindness, can you imagine how much rougher it’d be?
If you’re still not convinced, here are three reasons I’ve found to be kind.
1. We should be kind because our Lord is kind.
The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds. Psalm 145:17
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
There’s a song on Israel Houghton’s CD, Love God, Love People (aptly titled, don’t you think…I highly recommend you check it out), where he says “I want to love like you love, love like you love, want to love others the way that you love me.”
3. We should be kind because the rewards are great.
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest. Luke 6:35
Most of us get caught up in accumulating material possessions at some time or another; but when we come to the end of our time here on earth, none of those things will really matter. It’s how we treat others and love on others that will have the greatest impact on our lives.
Now, y’all know it’s no good to collect information and knowledge if you don’t put it to use. So, here’s the kindness assignment for this week:
- Identify at least one person that you think of as a kind person. Think about what makes them kind. Then, pick out a few ways you’ll model their acts of kindness this week. (Coming up short on finding kind people in your life? It may be time to find a new group of people to hang around. Remember, we become what we surround ourselves with–whether it’s people, words, media, etc.)
- Give out at least one hug every day.