As our Wednesday AWANA ministry was coming to a close a few ladies and I gathered talking. While the kids were scurrying to their buses one lady, let’s call her June, was graciously handing out her famous homemade cookies to every child and adult. She must have made hundreds. As June moved out of earshot one of the ladies sneered, “She’s too nice.”
Since that evening, I’ve spent hours thinking about those words, “She’s too nice.” What June was doing for everyone, including an ungrateful woman, was living out the fruit of the Spirit, kindness. In my opinion, one of the highest compliments a woman can receive is to be described as “too nice.” If someone ever says that of you, you can know that you are truly exhibiting the Spirit’s fruit!
Just as God is kind, Christians are to be kind, too. The apostle Paul warns Christians in Eph. 4:25-32 to avoid conduct that grieves the Holy Spirit and hurts the heart of God. This includes several forms of meanness, specifically bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking. As we banish these from out lives we are to “be kind one to another” (verse 32). God tells us in Col. 3:2 to “put on a heart of kindness.” As we remove meanness, we should put on kindness in each of our relationships.
Imagine if your home, church, or office removed bickering and instead overflowed with kindness. In 2 Tim. 2:24, Paul exhorts Christians to not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all. When we argue or quarrel we’re not living according to the new nature but instead the old man. In Gal. 5:20 God lists strife, disputing, and dissension as evil deeds of the flesh.
There is a lady in the Bible, named Dorkus, who God described as a woman “abounding with deeds of kindness and charity, which she continually did” (Acts 9:36). She had sewn garments for the widows (verse 39). She saw a need and she filled it.
Jesus, our perfect example was “the kindness of God” in flesh (Titus 3:4). The Gospels tell us that Jesus was moved with compassion as He looked upon the hungry multitude of people. The disciples weren’t concerned with the needs (Luke 9:12-13) but the God of all creation was. Isn’t that humbling? Oh, for the grace to be more like Jesus!
As we spiritually prepare ourselves for battle each morning we need to ask God to work in our hearts. We should pray for God to help us notice, care, and encourage the people He brings into our lives.
- -Pray for greater love and compassion for others.
- -Look for opportunities to ease someone’s burden and then go out of your way to be “too nice.” What would make your spouse’s life easier? Your children’s? Or your coworkers’? What could you do to make their day brighter?
- -Study the life of Jesus for more examples of kindness. Journal the instances you find and take note of the circumstances surrounding His kindness.
- -Pray for your enemies (Luke 6:28). You can’t genuinely be kind to a person you hate and you can’t hate a person you’re praying for.