What ever happened to kindness? Most of my hurts and painful memories come from unkindness, beginning with my childhood to the present. I would venture to guess that everyone has painful memories from unkind people. These painful memories affect our thinking and beliefs, and they prevent us from being kind. We know being patient is hard, but have you considered your struggle to be kind?
For instance, I was not being kind to my husband, though he was being patient with me. Later, he said, if I treated my friends like I treat him, I would have no friends. OUCH! The next day, my husband asked if I was mad at him. I said, “I don’t think so.” So, I went to God and asked Him to show me why I was disrespecting my husband. The next day, as I was memorizing Ephesians 2:1-7, I read verse seven, “so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” God quickened my mind when I read “grace in kindness.” And He revealed I was angry at my husband for what I perceived as his unkindness towards me. I had repressed my offense and was being unkind in return.
I began to think deeply about grace and kindness. What does kindness look like in action? God brought me back to the phrase, “grace in kindness.” Grace is getting what we don’t deserve and is demonstrated by God’s kindness towards us. Grace involves forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7,8 states, “In him (Jesus) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.” I asked God to give me insight whether I was holding a grudge? I know when we hold onto an offense, we can’t show grace to the person who offended us. Do you agree?
If God is willing to forgive our sins, then we can forgive the sins of others (see Matthew 6:12). Please note, God’s grace is immeasurable which He lavishes on us richly. This is hard to comprehend. How much better the world will be if we each lavished grace and forgiveness on those who don’t deserve it? If we can comprehend the immeasurable grace God has for us, how grateful we will be. Trying to wrap my mind around this kind of grace has made me realize how ungrateful I am.
For example, in Luke 10:25-37, Jesus tells a parable of a man who was beaten and robbed, then left naked on the road. Three men came upon the naked man, the two religious leaders walk by and the third man, a Samaritan, who is despised by the Jews, showed mercy and compassion and help the man. Jesus asked, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” (Luke 10:36). The good Samaritan was not selfish with his time and money. He went out of his way to take the man to an Inn, and then paid for the man’s stay and care. It is hard to be kind and show mercy to those who are not kind to us, but that is the love God wants us to show to the world. Remember, love is patient and kind… (1 Corinthians 13:4a).
1 John 3:17-18 also says, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. Love focuses on the needs of others. But if our thoughts are only about meeting our own needs and expectations, then we will not be patient or kind, and we will not love others well. To love well and show kindness we must transform our self-centered thoughts and beliefs to reflect God’s immeasurable grace.
Yes, I was not kind to my husband because I became offended when my demands were not met. My thoughts of being offended created a false belief my husband did not love me, and I can’t depend on him. My false beliefs caused me to feel disrespected and disrespectful. My unkindness to my husband was the result of my wrong thoughts and false beliefs. To learn more read #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution.
The wrong thinking that my husband should serve me was transformed by a blog I read by healingmission, The Christian Healing Mission Daily Blog. The author encouraged her readers to serve as Jesus served. This truth is found in Matthew 20:28, which states, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” I was convicted of my sinful desire to be treated like a Queen and to be served. I expected my husband to be my servant, for which he was not a willing participant. Satan wants us to live self-centered and selfish lives to keep us in bondage to misery. Jesus wants us to follow His example and serve others in love.
I took out my “Hope for Complete Healing” booklet and looked up “Kindness Issues.” Using the list of offenses in the “Kindness Issues” worksheet, I prayed and asked God to show me why I was offended. He showed me I felt rejected when my husband didn’t do what I expected him to do. And, I was offended by how rough he spoke to me. I then went through the “Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul.
Next, I prayed and bound to my heart and mind the positive attributes of kindness and the transformation truths found on the worksheet. God then showed me I had painful memories of my mother speaking roughly to me, which triggered my response to my husband’s roughness. I went through the five steps of healing again to transform that painful memory.
I remind myself, I can only ask God to change my heart and correct my thoughts. And, I cannot expect God to change my husband because he has a will to choose how he behaves. Read the following post to know what is and is not our Authority in Prayer, Four Reasons Why We Have Authority in Prayer.
If you find you identify with my struggle to love well, then please go to God and receive healing and His immeasurable grace and forgiveness. Begin reading my short booklet today for guidance. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories
There is hope for complete healing as we receive God’s grace and forgiveness, then show grace in kindness.
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P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).