Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32
Yesterday, I read the following post on Nextdoor:
With all the uncertainty and madness that is going on, let’s show one another some genuine kindness, compassion, consideration, and forgiveness. We all have a Cross to bear, so to speak…it’s good to be mindful of that. No matter allow yourself to be kind…
In the Devotional, A Radical Change, several crises were mentioned, “Globally, we are experiencing a bundle of crises; health, economic, social, political, and natural disasters.” Even so, there is a more significant crisis, the lack of kindness and compassion for each other. The pursuit of tangible things and stuff has redirected our focus from helping humanity to obtaining objects that can easily be swept away and destroyed.
When did this transition happen? When did we stop caring for each other? It was not an immediate change. Unfortunately, the disregard for others has evolved throughout the decades. In fact, some individuals have never witnessed communities binding together to help each other outside of the 9/11 tragedy or natural disasters. Nor have they actively participated in alleviating others’ suffering by extending a smile, a kind word, or even saying “good morning.”
We have focused on our desires for so long that we have lost our sense of purpose: To Serve God and to Serve Others.
Our perception and lifestyles have contributed to the disregard and the desire for godly character traits. We are too busy and have too many responsibilities to extend ourselves outside of ourselves. As a result, we live on the emotional edge that promotes the concepts of “taking care of me/and my family,” and “every one else for themselves.”
The reality of who we have become is so harsh that it sounds unbelievable. Can you name ten individuals that you know personally that could be described as kind and compassionate? Would you be able to include yourself in the list?
Of all the needful things that we seek after, a godly character should be first and foremost. It is a daily struggle to change into a Man or Woman of God.
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. romans 7:15-20
The Apostle Paul identified his shortcoming of doing what he knew was wrong, and desiring to do what is right, but often failed. Transformation is possible; yet, there is stringent criteria for possessing godly character traits, it is “All or Nothing.” We cannot base “Fruits of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22,23) on performing good deeds or random acts of kindness. We often console ourselves by saying, “But I do care for others, what more can I do?” We can begin by performing an honest self-evaluation.
What is our love relationship like with God? It takes 100% genuine love for God to be filled with the Holy Spirit that produces His character traits. Think about it, God is directing us to possess the kindness and compassion that He has. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22,23
First, we must admit that we do not have the “fruits” that God requires. Then, we pray a prayer of confession and repentance, asking God to transform the hardness and indifference that we feel toward others by filling us with His unconditional love. When we ask God for change, it is the tests and trials that we must endure to produce the “Fruit of the Spirit.”
I will be the first to admit that I require a radical change. If we love God, then we obey His precepts. It is only then that we can: Live a purpose-driven life! Love God! Love Others! Love Yourself! in that order.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Human Effort + Divine Intervention = Victorious Outcomes.
Bible Reading: Galatians 5, Philippians 4
God, we ask forgiveness of the sins of just not caring about others. It is our desire to change and to possess the character that reflects your character. Please show us how to become more like you, and how to serve you. thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.