Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Biblical Building Blocks for Strengthening Relationships.”
Biblical Building Block #13 Kind To One Another (Ephesians 4:32)
Ephesians 4:32, And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
One of the many characteristics of the earthly ministry of Christ was kindness. Everything He did was done through a kind heart that sought to glorify the Lord. In reading the Scriptures, you can't help but notice the Lord's kindness on the poor, weak, sick, and less fortunate people. While some people ridiculed or avoided the poor, Christ reached out to them. When the sick were cast out of the city, Jesus went to them and healed them. His kindness was not only for the scholars, rich, or religious people; He displayed kindness to everyone He met. Jesus was kind and tenderhearted and we are to follow in His steps. The word kind means to be easy, good, pleasant, gracious, gentle, caring, courteous, or giving. Kindness carries the idea of being "disposed to do good to others, and to make them happy by granting their requests, supplying their wants or assisting them in distress; having tenderness or goodness of nature; benevolent." Kindness is any act of benevolence which promotes the happiness or welfare of others. This is speaking of a continuous action. Therefore, we are to be kind to one another every day. God’s “kindness is great toward us” and He wants His children to show that same kindness toward others. It has been said, the greatest thing a man can do for his Heavenly Father is to be kind to His other children. As God shows kindness to the “unthankful and to the evil”, so should we (Luke 6:35). Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning. We are living in a world where being nice and well-mannered are becoming more and more rare. However, in this crude, rude world, Christians are to shine the light of kindness by being nice. It actually pays to be kind by being nice. Proverbs 11:17, “The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.”
People usually deal with injustices in one of three ways.
1.Some people Retreat.
Have you ever met someone who was hurt by another person and withdrew from social interaction? Perhaps they sought to do right or be kind and were met with an attack. Such actions can easily cause a person to withdraw and refuse to show kindness to others.
2.Some people respond with Retaliation.
Let me illustrate: A man walks into a cafe with his cell phone in one hand held to his ear and a magazine in his other hand and tells the waitress, "I want a cup of coffee and a donut, and step on it." The waitress returned with a cup of coffee and a flat donut. These are a few examples of the truth that a cruel man brings trouble on himself. Reacting with restraint shows faith that God will take care of the injustice without our involvement. While checking his bags at the airport, a man became indignant with the employee who handled luggage. For several minutes he belittled the young man and criticized his every move. Surprisingly, the curbside porter didn't seem troubled by this man's verbal abuse. After the angry man entered the airport, a woman approached the luggage handler and asked, "How do you put up with such injustice?" The young man said, "It's easy. That guy's going to San Francisco, but I'm sending his bags to San Juan, Puerto Rico." Human nature often urges us to seek revenge when wronged. Retaliating feels good to our flesh. We we’re wronged, we rationalize it's only fair that the other people feel our pain as well. There's something almost soothing about inflicting pain on those who wrong us. Yet God directly commands us to reject the urge to retaliate and allow Him to handle wrongdoings.
3.Some people respond with Restraint.
God's desire for our reaction to injustice is through restraint. Again, reacting with restraint shows a level of faith that God will take care of the injustice without our involvement. God sees the injustices in your life, and even though you may not see retaliation immediately, God will have the final say in the matter. Trust Him to make right the wrongs and choose to respond in restraint. Kindness demonstrates that we have a tender heart, and that we are not absorbed by self-interest but genuinely are motivated by God’s love. The Bible tells us that God wants us to be kind and show kindness toward others. If you look around today, you will easily find people who are desperate for a kind and encouraging word—give it to them. There are people all around you who carry burdens, face difficulties, and need a touch from God. You can be His ambassador in their lives. Ask Him to show you how you can be kind to them today. So many people in our world are faced with times of intense grief and emotion. Do you know someone who's grieving right now? Grief can come in many forms, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of a home, loss of a friend. Grief and emotions can hit hard in such times. As Christians, God desires us to reach others through compassion, but perhaps no time is more important than during times of grief. When we treat people with kindness, we often open doors for them to receive a witness of the Gospel. If you know someone who's experiencing grief, take time to minister to them through kindness. Ask God to give you a way to comfort them. Send them a card, give them some flowers, prepare them a meal, offer to watch their children, send them a comforting Bible verse, pray with them, or simply spend time listening to them and grieving with them. Through God's help, seek to be a comfort to someone struggling right now.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to treat others the way Jesus would treat others. In Jesus Name, Amen!
Thank you for reading Biblical Building Block #13 of this series. Please visit this website tomorrow for Biblical Building Block #14 of this series.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.