Culture of Kindness: Kindness as a by-product of God’s love

Written by Desiree Visser

Have you ever heard the saying “happiness is a journey, not a destination”? In a way, trying to make yourself happy is the most definite way of being unhappy. Happiness is a by-product of working towards a goal; it is the journey of learning and discovering and experiencing that makes us happy. Many times people achieve great goals and accomplishments, only to discover that the happiness they feel at the end is fleeting. Beware of destination addiction: the idea that happiness is the next place, the next job, the next week. Being happy is a mind-set about the journey of living.

I suspect that kindness is a bit like happiness in the sense that being kind is a by-product of something bigger. Focusing on being kind as a goal can leave one feeling drained; or even a little fake or hypocritical (kind at work, not so kind at home?). Only if our kindness is rooted in God’s love can it be sustainable. We cannot do this naturally. We need the Holy Spirit to help us to love people genuinely.

1 Peter 4:8 states “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins”. Look at this scripture carefully - loving people in a Godly way means that you can look over the offence, failure, and disappointment. Loving people in obedience to God is powerful – it can soften hearts, bring repentance and heal many relational wounds. When you allow God to help you love others, you are kind.

As we seek the Lord and allow His Spirit to reign in our lives, we find it possible to make the choice to be kind to others. Kindness is only one of the fruits of the Spirit. In fact, kindness by itself can make us tolerant of sin unless we also receive another fruit of the Spirit – goodness.

Kindness cannot be the goal; Kindness is a by-product of God’s love.

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