Be Kinder than You Feel
There is a sign on the way into Farmington that reads, “Be kinder than you feel.” When I first read that sign, it was on a day that I really needed to hear it and apply it. Many times after that, I thought back to those words—they were a good reminder. At some point, though, I began to resent having read that sign because with every attempt at being kinder, I realized more times than not I was failing miserably in its application. Then one day, a brilliant light went on inside my soul, a revelation…I was attempting to do something I was not supposed to do—generate and control kindness on my own.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23b When the Holy Spirit reminded me of Paul’s words, it was a relief. I realized I was attempting to do something I was incapable of doing—the job of the Holy Spirit. I will never be able to generate real and eternal kindness on my own. Any attempt at this fruit without the Holy Spirit is limited and often misled, corrupt and selfish.
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25 It could be that if we are struggling with kindness—or any fruit of the Spirit—we may need to slow down and get back in step with the Spirit.
Get quiet. Spend time with Jesus, and allow Him to soften your heart today.