This is a great article. I get Boyd Bailey's devotionals by email each day and often share portions on Facebook, with good response. I put in bold one of my favorite passages. As one of my friends said last weekend after we heard someone at our gathering go on the attack about both religion and politics, if you want to persuade people to your point of view, you have to be respectful when you express your beliefs, or they will just close their minds and not really "hear" a word you say. It's a great reminder to speak the truth in love.
Love is Kind
“Love is kind”… 1 Corinthians 13:4Kindness is a natural application of love because it makes one feel loved. It is the ability to be accepting when everything within you wants to be rejecting. It is a strategy for forgiveness when you are wronged or when someone takes advantage of you. When your trusting spirit has been violated, you still love by being kind; you stop fighting, and you start forgiving.
Kindness means you are pleasant to be around because your countenance is inviting and shows interest. It is as much an attitude as anything, and it is the ability to see beyond the immediate to the potential. Kindness means you go out of your way to love someone. People who are unlovable become prime candidates for your kindness. A family member who is far from God, deep down desires unconditional love and kindness.
Love keeps you kind, especially toward those who are closest to you. They do not deserve your dredging up hurtful, bitter, and unforgiving words from the past. Love is kind in its conversations. Harsh and abrasive speech is absent from kind conversation. Love produces words that are “kind and tenderhearted” (Ephesians 4:32). Love is able to extend kind words that cheer up heavy hearts (Proverbs 16:24). Pray to God for kindness to reign in your relationships with kids and teenagers. Children translate kindness into love, for it is their language of love.
We all have blown up and lost our temper over disrespectful attitudes and actions from our offspring. The temptation is to disrespect them when we have been disrespected, and the natural response is to become angry when someone else spews out his or her frustrations on us. But God has not called us to natural responses but supernatural ones. Kindness in the face of frustration is a fruit of the Spirit, and only through submission to your Savior will kindness come front and center. The fullness of the Holy Spirit in your life is what causes kindness to come forth.
Lastly, loving others with kindness does not preclude difficult decisions. Kindness is not patronizing, but it is authentic care and concern, and it is able to deliver hard truth that softens hard hearts. You can dismiss an employee with kindness. Likewise, you can disagree with kindness in a heated debate. Harshness has no hold on those who are controlled by Christ.
Therefore, kindly love people through difficult situations. Serve those who are experiencing financial difficulties, for example. Kindness is king for followers of King Jesus, so love with kindness and watch them come around and embrace Christ. Kindness kills sin and sadness, and brings to life love, forgiveness, and hope. Allow Jesus’ loving kindness to flow through you, for kindness toward the needy honors God (Proverbs 14:31). Kindness resides where love is applied, because love is kind.
Taken from the February 9th reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE