And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 WEB
Ask yourself, “Am I a kind person?” If you are not good at self-evaluation or feel that you cannot be objective, then ask a family member. Prior to involving another individual, ask yourself two questions:
1. Can I accept a truthful answer?
2. What steps am I willing to take to possess the Fruit of the Spirit?
There is a challenge to identifying our ungodly character traits. We often make excuses as to why we mistreat others and justify our abrupt, and “rough around the edges” responses to those we interact with. It is an amazing fact that we most often hurt the ones who are closest to us.
From a psychological perspective, there is a term known as displaced anger; something or someone else upset you and in return you select an innocent victim to retaliate against. There are therapeutic steps that a person can take to combat this state of misguided anger. However, the mistreatment of others is well beyond a treatable condition. If you are still reading this devotional, then as a Christian believer, you should feel convicted by the Holy Spirit. There is no place for the disagreeable spirit of unkindness to reside in our lives.
Yesterday, I watched a sermon by Dr. Charles Stanley on Kindness. As soon as he asked the question, “Are you a kind person?”, my heart felt as if a dagger had pierced it. My answer was “most of the time.” Since I am out of town, I immediately called my husband and requested that he also watch the sermon. We were enlightened and blessed to know what God requires of us in our relationship with others.
Changing our ungodly traits requires active participation:
1. We must acknowledge that we are unkind.
2. We must ask the individuals (most often our family members) to forgive us.
3. Next, pray a Prayer of Confession: Ask God to forgive you, and to help you make the transitional journey of changing from an unkind person to one filled with loving-kindness.
Now it is time to engage in the spiritual battle of changing your character traits from undesirable to desirable. Are you ready for the struggle? I can promise you that some tough opposition is headed in your direction to prevent you from making this commitment. Even so, be aware that God has not left us without water in the Desert of Life. The refreshing waters are always flowing from the Son of God; Jesus our great Intercessor, who promises to never leave us or forsake us.
There is a praise song that tells us that we have a Spiritual team available by request: “If you believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, call Him up, and tell Him what you want.”
Encourage yourself by memorizing this verse:
I can (and will) do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Phillipians 4:13
God is patiently waiting for us to reflect His loving-kindness toward others.
Prayer for today: Dear God, I have been unkind to others. I have not been a reflection of my belief in you. Please forgive me for the sin of mistreating those that love me and the individuals that I purposefully chose to wound with unkind words. I am ready to change and I ask you to refresh me with the living waters that only you can provide. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Sonya Johnson Ruiz