Can you fully love someone without kindness and thankfulness as a disciple of Christ?
Fully loving someone involves your attitudes, words, beliefs about them, and actions. To fully love your spouse and to treat them unkind, is not true love. The apostle Paul reveals the aspects of Christ’s love that are designed to be active in us in Galatians 5:22-23.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Roots of Being Kind and Mean
- The aspect of kindness is rooted in the mindset of thankfulness (being pleased and relieved); and gratefulness (readiness to show appreciation and return kindness.)
- The roots of being mean are in the emotions and mindset of anger, fear, resentment, jealousy, and frustration.
Our emotions are warning signals and energy. Only we can decide what to do with them in a reaction or a response. Emotions are real. However, they do not have a brain. For twenty-years, throughout my first two abusive marriages, I didn’t realize that I could, and I had the responsibility to control my emotions through the Holy Spirit.
Once I discovered God’s truth, and I let the Holy Spirit empower me to stop letting my emotions lead me, my thoughts and emotions changed to be more like Christ’s. I was no longer a slave to my fears. I began to see that I had the power to choose to be happy, free, kind, and loving.
I was filled with gratefulness for the power of the Holy Spirit living in me. I was thankful for the seeds of the fruits of the spirit Jesus implanted in me at my salvation. As my personal relationship with Jesus grew, I began to understand how much the children of God have to be grateful for.
We are saved, redeemed, holy, beautiful in God’s sight, saints, and the light of the world. We never have to be alone. We have the guide and power of the Holy Spirit, and we have eternal life in heaven.
Picture of Christ’s Loving Kindness
Christ’s life on earth reveals what his love looks like in people as he was fully man. When you study his attitudes, words, and actions you will see all of the fruits of the spirit. Jesus treated all people with the same level of kindness.
When your heart is loving like Jesus, you can see the little things people do for you. The stranger who opens the door for you. The woman who gives you a compliment. The cheery cashier who makes you smile. All of these blessings give you an opportunity to be grateful for their kindness and to pass your kindness on to others.
As disciples of Christ, we are called to be his light by showing his love and kindness in our attitudes, words, and actions. Be honest with yourself. Are you showing Christ’s kindness and love to others every day first, or are you expecting others to be kind first? Is your kindness dependent on how others treat you?
Love, Kindness, and Thankfulness Changed the World
I know there are days you don’t feel good. However, when you choose to be kind regardless of how you feel or what is going on in your life, you are obeying God and blessing others. Jesus lived this example, and therefore, we are called to follow in his footsteps.
Even on the cross, Jesus showed kindness toward his mother, Mary, as he gave her to John to care for after his death. We all know this was Christ’s worst day. Yet, he chose to be kind.
What would our world be like if every disciple of Christ committed to using only kind words, attitudes, and actions with every person regardless of how they felt, what they were going through, or how they were treated. Choosing to act in kindness comes from being grateful for all that Jesus Christ has done for you. We must never forget that Jesus gave us everything so we could be saved and live with him for eternity. If he gave us all of his loving-kindness, we have the privilege to share it with others, along with his love and grace.
Will You Be Kind or Mean?
Christ shows us how to be overflowing with his joy and thanksgiving as we live in a growing personal relationship with him every day. Our relationship with him on earth mirrors his relationship with God when he was on the earth. He knew he had to stay close to God to complete his mission, and we will have to do the same.
If we are going to step into God’s mission, receive all that he has planned for us, and live as a disciple of Jesus, we will have to dwell with him in thankfulness. As disciples of Jesus, we must choose to be kind and loving because we are grateful for the grace and mercy Jesus bestowed on us through his life, death, and resurrection. Start showing other people kindness first and experience Christ’s grace, joy, and love bubbling up and overflowing into your heart and out to others.
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Col 2:7 TLB
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