Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant (1 Cor. 13:4 ESV)
1 Corinthians 13 has been appropriately labeled the chapter of love. It gives us the characteristics of what God calls love. One such trait given to us is that love is kind. A kind person is someone who is friendly, helpful, warmhearted, and considerate.
We are often tempted to limit this kindness to that of meeting the physical needs of people. For example, helping someone in need of food, clothing, financial assistance, etc. is indeed an act of kindness. However, there is more to kindness. Ephesians 4:31-31 gives an essential context for this aspect of kindness. It says
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” ( ESV).
People around us need our generosity towards their weaknesses and failures. Be generous with your forgiveness and make allowances for the weaknesses of others. Kindness is at the very heart of grace. Be kind to your pastor. Be kind to your spouse. Be kind to your children. Be kind to your brethren in Church. They are not angels. They are saints, still living in temples made of fragile clay. When they break in pieces before you, be kind enough to put them together again as much as depends on you in love and long-suffering without grinding them to powder!
Did you notice the other traits of love mentioned in our verse above? Look at it again. Declare “ I am growing in patience and kindness. I am not envious, boastful or arrogant but humble and meek in spirit”.
APPLY THE WORD
Few things will test the maturity of your love as dealing with people’s weaknesses and faults with love, kindness and long-suffering. It is easier to meet a physical need than to deal with the character weaknesses of those around us. God wants you to be like Him, dealing with others as He deals with you in love and kindness.
Ask the Lord for grace to be gracious towards those around you.
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