Welcome to our third week looking at kindness! Make sure you catch up on last weeks summary post over on Naomi’s blog. Last week we really looked at WHY we should be kind – basically because God is kind. This week we are looking at the big HOW question….
I am sure we all aspire to be kind people – its a nice trait to have and to be recognised in. We have already discussed that God is kind, so there’s another reason. But the how of it sometimes evades us. I have been taking part in the 40acts challenge during lent (you can follow my progress on my facebook page) and finding new ways to show kindness and generosity. Sometimes its through gifts or being thoughful. And these ways are really important – it says so at the beginning of our verse. “Be kind and compassionate to one another”. We SHOULD do those extra little things that others might not think to do. But there is one big thing right at the end of this verse that I think is key, that has been going round and round in my head all week. FORGIVE….
Forgiving each other
Man has this hit me in the face this week (if you want to know more then join our Mummy Meditations community!). God has really challenged me to be forgiving to others, and that this is the biggest act of kindness we could ever do. Yes gifts are nice and time spent with others is valuable, but to offer forgiveness to others is priceless. It can make an eternal difference to both the other party AND ourselves. You see forgiving each other has an impact on both parties, even if you don’t see it straight away.
the impact on others
Forgiving each other gives people a glimpse of what God did on the cross. It shows people that anger and judgment aren’t the only ways to react to being hurt or mistreated. It is a real life example of love and it can release people from years of anguish and pain. Perhaps what happened was a mistake or an error of judgment. Showing people forgiveness in this gives them them the opportunity to change and try to make amends in their lives which they might not feel able to do without being forgiven. But even if the person doesn’t care that you’ve forgiven them, do it for yourself….
the impact on yourself
Holding on to pain and bitterness from past events can only ever drag us down and make us bitter. Forgiving others gives us the chance to move on and be free from that hurt and pain. Yes whatever happened will still be there, but it wont fester inside us. Also, God forgave you of your biggest mistakes and errors. Remember this and it won’t seem so hard to offer the same forgiveness to others. By doing this you will grow more like Jesus.
Learn by doing
I want to just add as we finish looking at this verse, that kindness through forgiveness will always be a “work in progress”. You might need to choose to forgive every day for a while, until the pain of whatever it is starts to fade away. But with the help of the Holy Spirit in you, this is possible and shows that you are growing in your spiritual fruit of kindness.
The lovely Naomi will be bringing her thoughts on the following verse next week, our last in the series on Kindness:
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” Hebrews 13:2
If you would like to join in our discussions of this verse during the week in a safe space and have access to free resources to help you with it, then please sign up to our Mummy Meditations Community below: