“Do justice, Love kindness, Walk humbly with God.” – from Micah 6:8
Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. In Micah 6:8, we read that God just doesn’t tell us that we should be kind to one another; God commands that we ‘Love kindness.’ We should practice kindness so much that it becomes essential to our every thought and encounter.
So how can you cultivate the fruit of the Spirit of kindness in your life?
Consider living into Micah 6:8 in one of these simple (but not always easy!) ways this week:
- Resist sarcasm; it is the antithesis of kindness: “”Set, O Lord, a guard over my mouth; keep watch, O Lord, at the door of my lips!” (Psalm 141:3).
- Pare down possessions: share your things with the needy.
- Call someone who you know is lonely, even if you understand why they’re lonely. Especially if you do.
- Do something kind and helpful for someone who you don’t get along with, or who has wronged you.
- Instead of losing patience with someone online (or in person), try to hear that person’s fear. Ask God for what Solomon asked for: “an understanding heart.”
- Be generous enough to allow someone to help you; people need to feel needed.
- If you didn’t mean to be a pain in the neck to someone, admit you were and ask the person to forgive you.
- Send a card, flowers, gift or note to someone on the six-month anniversary of his or her loved one’s death. By then, most people have stopped recognizing their grief.
- Offer to babysit for a busy parent or couple to go out and have a couple of hours to themselves.
- Offer to run an errand (groceries, dry cleaning pick-up, dog-walking) for a busy parent or homebound person.
- Recall a time you were not given the benefit of the doubt, and extend one to someone else.
- Put down the phone and really listen to someone else. With eye contact.
- Make a gratitude journal for your spouse and jot down little things he or she does that you’re grateful for. Bite your tongue and go write in it (or at least read it) the next time you want to criticize in a moment of frustration
[Adapted from 56 Ways To Be Merciful During the Jubilee Year of Mercy]
By Rev. Jayne Davis