Try a Little Kindness

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Colossians 3:12 says,

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Notice the word clothe. The Greek word literally means “put on.” What Paul is saying here is that when we wake up in the morning, we ought to get dressed spiritually and emotionally as well as physically. When we wake up in the morning and decide what to wear, we should also ask ourselves, “What kind of attitude am I going to wear today?”

Paul says kindness is a choice. It is something we can choose to “put on” every day.

Kindness is “love in action” — a practical expression of love. It is visible and active, not just emotional. There is a song that says, “Find the need and fill it. Find the hurt and heal it.” That is kindness.

But why should we be kind? After all, kindness can be risky. We might be misunderstood if we are kind to others. They might think, “Why is this person being so nice? What’s in it for him?” People we are kind to also might take advantage of us. They might become parasites with the attitude, “Oh, here’s a sucker. I’ll milk him for all he’s worth.”

Despite the risks, we are to be kind for two reasons. First, we are to be kind because God is kind to us. Ephesians 2:8 says,

Because of His kindness you have been saved through trusting Christ.

Grace and kindness always go together. Poet Robert Burns said that the kind heart most resembles God. We should be kind just because God is kind to us.

The other reason we should be kind is that we want people to be kind to us. We want to be treated right. Jesus said,

Do to others what you would have them do to you. — Matthew 7:12

If you are rude to other people, they are going to be rude to you. But if you are kind, most people will want to respond the same way. Proverbs 21:21 says,

Be kind and honest and you will live a long life; others will respect you and treat you fairly.

In Proverbs 11:17 we read,

Your own soul is nourished when you are kind; it is destroyed when you are cruel.

So when we are kind, we are really doing ourselves a favor.

Excerpted with permission from God’s Power to Change Your Life by Rick Warren, copyright Zondervan.

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Your Turn

So often we excuse ourselves when we are unkind. “That person deserved it.” “She just annoyed me.” “If I’m kind, he will see me giving an inch and he will take a mile.” Today, let’s ask the Lord to point out to us when we’re unkind and how we can respond with the kindness of Jesus instead, and pay attention to what He reveals. Join the conversation on our blog! We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

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God's Power to Change Your Life
Rick Warren
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Rick Warren
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Rick Warren

As founding pastor of Saddleback Church, Dr. Rick Warren leads a 30,000 member congregation in California with campuses in major cities around the world. As a theologian, he has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, University of Judaism, and dozens of universities and seminaries. As a global strategist he advises world leaders and has spoken to the United Nations, US Congress, Davos Economic Forum, TED, Aspen Institute, and numerous parliaments. Rick has also founded the global P.E.A.C.E. plan, which Plants churches of reconciliation, Equips leaders, Assists the poor, Cares for the sick, and Educates the next generation in 196 countries.

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