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Charles Stanley - Kindness

TOPICS: Kindness

What is that quality within a person that makes them very desirable? And it makes them have the kind of quality about them that you maybe not always be able to recognize it, but somehow it's there, and it doesn't make any difference what their age is. What quality, no matter what the age, is always appealing and attractive to someone? Well in two thousand three, they took a survey from thirty-seven different cultures and sixteen thousand people, and they asked this question: what trait in your mate is the most important trait to you personally?

Now, we think about traits, on the outside and the inside, but, somebody says, well now let me ask you a question. Now are we talking about beauty? Well, somebody says, but beauty is only skin deep. Well, not necessarily true. There's an inner beauty that a person can sense and feel and that they have. And so when you think about what traits can a person have that no matter what their age, they're still attractive, still admired, still winsome, and there's something about them you just like. Well, what is it? It's just a four-letter word and it's not love. It's a four letter word that most people don't even realize what it's about. Kind. Everybody loves somebody who is kind.

Now, kind is an action. In other words, if I am going to be kind to somebody, there's going to be a response in some fashion or the other. But kindness is a very, very important quality. It's a winsome kind of quality. It's deep within. But you can't have that kind of quality without it showing on the outside. And that's why I begin by saying, what is a quality that outlives, in other words, beauty and all the rest? No matter how long a person lives, how old they get, if there's a kindness about them, there's an attractiveness about them. You're drawn to them. This is what makes godly grandparents, really godly grandparents, loved by their grandchildren when they're seventy, eighty, ninety, whatever it might be.

So when you think about these character qualities for you, and you think about the character qualities that you experience in your own life, does kindness ever come up? Because you see, kindness not only means that I'm being good in some areas, but I'll be generous and I will be thoughtful and considerate and all the rest. So, one point of this message, what I wanna do, I wanna give you a list of words that are involved in kindness. In other words, we think of kindness - it's just a four-letter word. We think, that's not very important. Oh, yes it is.

And if you'll turn to Ephesians chapter four for a moment and let's read two or three verses here. And, Paul writing from a prison cell you'll remember. He'd have all the reasons in the world not to be forgiving, not to be kind, because of the way he's been treated. But he says, for example, in, this twenty-ninth verse of the fourth chapter, he says, "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption". Then he says, "Let all (watch this, let all) bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. The desire to harm somebody. And then, "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ (Jesus), has forgiven you".

So look at these two opposites. On the one side, he says, don't let this, don't let this be a part of your life. Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, all of these, malice, put all this away. But replace it with what? "Be kind to one another, forgiving each other, just as God (has), Christ, has forgiven you". Be kind and tender-hearted. Now we don't even think about that very often, kind and tender-hearted. What does a person like that look like? You say, well I haven't met any here lately. I bet you have. It's a character quality that God desires for every single one of us, kindness, tender-hearted, being able to forgive. And when Paul wrote this, he had lots of reasons not to be forgiving because of the way he had been mistreated. And here he is sitting in a cold roman cell saying to his followers and those who would read this, "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God, has forgiven you".

So when we think about the whole idea of kindness, what comes to your mind? And I'd ask you this question, would you consider yourself being kind? Would you consider yourself a kind person? Would you consider yourself rather, or harsh, difficult to handle, difficult to deal with? Or would you consider yourself a very kind person? Well, when you look at what Paul said here, he's really saying there are two attitudes and one of them doesn't fit who we are. In other words, to be bitter and harsh and hard and resentful and oppressive and all of these attitudes, this doesn't fit who we are. When you and I trusted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we became a new creature. At that moment the Holy Spirit came into your life and my life and began his work. His work, what? Of transforming our attitudes and our habits in our life because we've grown up with all these others.

And now, he says, instead of those attitudes that you used in your life to defend yourself, to make the best way you possibly could, to overpower others if necessary, and to be sometimes greedy, but, "Be kind to one (to) another, tender-hearted, forgiving (one another), (even), as God in Christ (Jesus), has forgiven you". And so, we're not to allow unattractive attitudes in our life, because it's not who we are. If you go to work on Monday morning, for example, you say, well I didn't feel very good. I didn't sleep very good and the traffic was terrible. Well about ninety percent of the people in Atlanta could say that every Monday morning, but that's not the issue. The issue is this.

As a follower of Jesus, what's the traffic got to do with being kind? If you're a follower of Jesus, what's the weather got to do of being kind? If you're a follower of Jesus, what does your job have to do with being kind? Kindness is an inner, awesome, divine quality that God desires for every single one of his children. Anything other than that doesn't fit who we are. You say, well now everybody's natural. Well, what do you mean by being natural? Well, everybody has those days. Well, you know, what do you do with those days? Suppose everybody around you had the same day, then what happens? There's not a matter of the days, the time or anything else. The issue is this. Am I willing to allow the Holy Spirit who lives in me to live out through me moment by moment, day by day, in whatever my situation, the simple quality of being kind? Because we said, remember, kindness is attractive and desirable at any age.

That is, there's something about it that's charming and winsome in a person's life. And so it doesn't make any difference how beautiful they are or how shall we say, whatever the situation is physically on the outside, that's not the Mark of a real person. It's who we are on the inside. And so when I think about what Paul said, he said it, "Just as God in Christ (Jesus), has forgiven (us), and been kind to us". Listen to these scriptures. "The Lord is righteous in all his ways (and listen) and kind in all his deeds". Listen to that. God is kind toward every single one of us "In all his deeds". He's kind. You'll say, well suppose a person isn't a believer and they're living a life of disobedience, is God kind? Yes. But kindness doesn't mean, listen, just have your way. Kindness is always love acting out that quality of Jesus. And so sometimes a person needs to be disciplined. Sometimes if a person insists on living an ungodly life, they're going to suffer the consequences.

Now watch this. Somebody says, well but now how could God be kind? Here's how kind he is. He keeps his word. You say, well, you know, I don't wanna be a Christian. You don't have to be a Christian if you don't want to, but I'm telling you, God keeps his word. And here's his word. We reap what we sow, more than we sow, later than you-we sow. So let me ask you a question. Do you want God to violate any of his principles? Do you want God to change any of his principles? Do you want God to make you an exception to any of his principles? Well he's not going to. And he says, "Be kind (one) to, another". And when a person is, or disobedient to God and lives in sin, God in his kindness of keeping his word and being true to himself and to his followers, he's going to send the discipline that is absolutely necessary in that person's life.

So he says, "The Lord is righteous," that means he's good and he is godly, "In all his ways". The scripture says in Joel chapter two, "The Lord (is) abounding in lovingkindness". You know what that means? He's overflowing. In other words, if you'll think about it, there's nothing in God, about the whole Godhead, that's cheap or very little or skimpy. He's always abounding in love and of, and abounding in his grace and goodness and kindness toward us. That's who he is. Then first Peter chapter two verse three says that, he speaks of tasting of, "The kindness of the Lord". And some people who don't grow up in a Christian home, they don't know anything about godly characteristics, and you tell them, you need to be kind. For them, it would be a taste.

Well what does that mean? Now, how am I to live out my life kindly when I've never seen it in my family? And you know, probably one of the most horrific things to view is to watch a family where mother and daddy are ungodly. They don't have a Bible in the home. They drink: they carouse: they may have plenty of money for their kids, give them everything they want: or maybe they don't. But there's no kindness. There's no joy. There's no peace. There's no happiness. And then they go out and marry somebody else. What are they going to do? They take with them just what they've bought with them. On the other hand, if a child grows up and they're taught by their parents to be kind. How do you teach a child to be kind? Showing kindness in the home, that's a way.

Do you want a child to be kind? Mom and dad have to be kind to each other, kind to the child. Does that mean no discipline? No, it doesn't mean that, because that wouldn't be kindness. You wouldn't be kind to a child if there was no discipline. But God wants parents to be godly. So that they grow up, they grow up having experienced kindness: having experienced forgiveness: having experienced discipline. They grow up with an attitude, so that when they leave their home, what do they do? They carry that with them. So why are we in our nation in the terrible moral mess we're in? Because parents, grandparents have lived immorally, disobediently, rebellious toward God, unkind, unChrist-like. And so what do they do? They multiply it.

And now you and I are living in the generation that's catching the fruit of all this disobedience and unkind and ungodly living. We are to make a difference by kindness in our own life. Can one person make a difference? Why sure you can. And so, look at the apostle Paul. He made an awesome difference and he's still making a difference because of what he taught, because of what he lived, because of what he suffered. And sometimes suffering enables us to be kind, but we'll come to that a little later. And then, for example, the kindness of God is directly related to our salvation.

Now watch this. When you trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, what happened? You were made knowledgeable of your sinfulness, about God and against God. The Holy Spirit spoke to you, into your spirit, about your sinfulness and you needed to ask God to forgive you and to repent of those sins, which means that you were to turn from them and to surrender your life to Christ. Based on not your good works, but based on what happened at calvary. That is, at the cross Jesus died as God's payment, that is, in order for him to be just and the justifier of all of us, he send his only begotten son, Jesus, to pay for your sin debt and mine. Therefore, when you and I receive Christ as our Savior, our sins are forgiven, our name is written in the lamb's book of life, have a clean slate.

The Holy Spirit comes into our life to seal us once and for all as a child of God: and to begin to express the fruit of the Spirit, which he says so clearly in Galatians chapter five verse twenty-two, he says, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, (and) joy, (and) peace, (and) kindness, self-control," and so forth. And so we have within us, watch this, no matter who you are, if you're a believer, you have within you the potential, the reality of potential to be a very kind person because the Spirit of God is going to express that through you. Every single believer has the full potential.

Now, you'll find people who say, well, now wait a minute. I believe if God is really kind and he's good, he wouldn't have, he wouldn't allow me to be sick or he wouldn't allow me to get in this situation: he wouldn't allow me, in other words, he wouldn't have allowed that and he wouldn't allow this and listen. God gives us all, watch this carefully, some sort and some part of a free will. Nobody has total free will. This would be a society you couldn't live in if everybody had free will. God has, gives us limited free will. And so there are people who get themselves in trouble and they sin against God and they start suffering the consequence and they want to know where is God? He's exactly where he's always been. He warned you before hand not to do it. You did it anyway. You reap what you sow, more than you sow, later than you sow. You can't blame God and accuse God of not being kind.

Let me tell you how kind he is. He's kind enough to let you still be living. He's kind enough to allow you to still hear the gospel. He's kind enough to listen to your prayers of repentance if you're willing, in other words, God is being very, very kind. And so that is the quality of God. And he wants that quality within us and he's expressing that to us all the time. For example, sometimes God disciplines us when we disobey him. Thank God he does. You know what he's doing? He's being kind. If God allowed us to live in disobedience to him, that wouldn't be kindness. Kindness is goodness. And kindness is caring. And for a God to let us live any old way we wanted to live, let us get by with it and bless us anyway, there's nothing kind about that. So people misinterpret the whole idea of kindness.

So let me ask you a question. Would you consider yourself a kind person? Would you consider yourself good, caring toward others, thoughtful, generous? Would you consider yourself a person who fits that? Or are you one who says that, well listen, it's every man for himself. No it's not. It's every man for God, not for yourself. God is willing to help anybody, everybody who's willing and ready and are willing to allow him to work in your life the very qualities. Let me ask you this question. Do you want to be kind? Would you like to have a kind spirit, a kind quality in your life? Would you want to be seen, known, felt, loved as a kind person? Do you want to marry someone who's kind? Do you want to be married to someone who's kind or not? In other words, do you want your children to be kind? In other words, kindness is a quality. The truth is every single one of us want for ourselves and we certainly want other people to be kind toward us. Amen?

So if you're expecting kindness toward you, then the scripture says, "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving (each other)". When I think about my mother who had many wonderful qualities, and I've talked enough about her at times. The one thing that stood out to me and stands out to me today when I think about her is Rebecca was always kind, even when I disobeyed her. And the first time I remember disobeying my mom. She was getting ready to go somewhere and I didn't like it. And I said something sort of smart to her, because I was going to be left home by myself.

And, I remember saying something to her and here's what she did. She turns around and she said, Charles, the Bible says a kind word turns away wrath. And turned around and walked away. And I've never gotten over it. She didn't say, I'm going to whip you when you get home. She took the word of God and sent it straight to my heart. A kind word turns away wrath. Kindness in all of our hearts. Whatever, whatever's going on in our life. So the person who says, well you know, I believe if God were really kind, he'd do this. I'll tell you what he's doing in your life. He's being kind.

What you need to do is ask yourself the question, what about you needs to change? And if you've never trusted Jesus as your Savior I want to tell you right now. You'll never be happy. I don't care how much money you have: how many cars you can drive: how many houses you can live in: whether you have a beach house, mountain house, plain house, you name, doesn't make any difference. How many times you'll marry, you'll never meet the person who will satisfy you. No one can satisfy you apart from Almighty God. You'll always find something else that you think is not exactly right.

Kindness is very, very important to us and important to every marriage and every family. Now, it's the desire of God's heart for every single one of us. Listen, listen to what these scriptures are, in proverbs three, three, listen to how the writer of proverbs, says this: speaking of truth and kindness is what he says, "Bind (it), around your neck, write (it), on the tablet of your heart". How could he have said to keep this any closer? He says, "Bind (it), around your neck, (and) write (it), on the tablet of your heart". Kindness and truth, two qualities that God wants for every single one of his children.

Then he says in Zechariah chapter seven and verse nine, look at this. This is one of the ways you learn to be kind, "Practice kindness," toward one another. So I would ask you this question, because if I just talk about it and don't ask any questions, that won't work. Would you consider yourself a kind husband? Would you consider yourself a kind wife? Would you consider yourself a kind friend? Would you consider yourself a kind parent? Oh, what about a kind employer, or a kind employee? As you think about your life, would you fall in the category of a person who is winsome? That there's something down inside of you such that when you get to be eighty or ninety years of age or seventy or whatever it might be, you will still be winsome. Is that part of you? Let's think about it for a moment.

Look in Colossians three for a moment, in chapter three and verse twelve. Look at what Paul says I want to remind you to do something. He says in verse twelve, "So, as those who have been chosen of God," that's all of us believers, "Holy and beloved". That's holy because the Holy Spirit indwells us, "Beloved," that is beloved by God, "Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience". Put it on. So, you know we say, every morning when you get up you should be, put on the whole armor of God. You put on the helmet of salvation: this is not the order Paul mentions, but helmet of salvation to protect your thinking. Breastplate of righteousness, to protect your emotions. Girdle of truth so you know the truth. The sword of the Spirit: and above all the shield of faith.

Well let's think about this. When you get up in the morning, he says, using this, his terminology here, "Put on a heart of kindness," which means, for example, tomorrow morning when you wake up, why don't you say to your husband or your wife, you're married, you look fantastic this morning. How would you respond to that ma'am? Would you say, ah now, what do you want? That what you'd say? You see, you know what? Some of you'd have a hard time accepting kindness. I mean, maybe, maybe God's straightened him out. And all of a sudden he sees beauty in you that he's never seen before. And he's not talking about your physical beauty. He's talking about all of a sudden he realizes what a treasure you are.

And so he says to you, you just look awesome. And you, first thing you're going to say is, my hair is a mess. This, that, and the other and so forth. You know what? Some people don't know how to accept kindness. When's the last time you ever hugged your mother? Or your father, and said, mom, I just love you to death. Dad, I appreciate you. You've been so good to me. I'm so, I'm so grateful. There are so many ways that you and I can express kindness and we don't even think about it. We want to put everything in the category of love, and I understand that but look at that word kindness.

And so with that in mind, let me just give you four examples. You remember when Joseph, who had been thrown into a pit to die by his brothers, sold into Egyptian slavery. He was framed by Potiphar's wife, thrown in prison and there for some time. And then he was redeemed and became second to Pharaoh. Years later his brothers, who tried their best to kill him, came down wanting wheat because they were going through a famine. And so here they came to face Joseph. Now he could have said, this is my opportunity. I'm going to show them what real suffering is about. I'm going to put them in the desert. I'm going to bury them in sand up to here, and I'm just going to watch them die. You know what he said? He said, you meant all that for evil, but God meant it for good. Total forgiveness, I love that. Total forgiveness: and the only thing he said to them was something kind. You meant it to me for evil, but God meant it to me for good. He didn't go into any big detail, well you did this to me and that, no. You meant it for evil, God meant it for good.

You remember, for example, when Jesus is sitting at the well, and this lady comes down to get some water, and Jesus knows she's a Samaritan, and he knows that they don't talk to each other. And then she asked him, why, what are you asking me for water? We don't, we don't talk to each other. And so, he very kindly and lovingly, said to her, give me a drink. And of course, she questioned the very idea that he would ask for a drink. And, then he simply said to her, he didn't say, you are a Samaritan and this, that and the other. He said, you know, if you knew who I was, you'd ask me and I'd give you a drink that'll last for eternity. What a kind way of introducing. And so she said, well what kind of drink is that? He explained to her. A kind reply. That is, if you would ask me, I'd give you a drink, you wouldn't have to come down here drawing water like this anymore. You'd have a drink for eternity.

You remember the story of the good Samaritan and the tenth chapter of Luke. And, you remember Jews and Samaritans hated each other. So, Jesus said it like this to make it more effective. He said, this Jew was robbed, left on the wayside there to die. And the ministry came down from Jerusalem, the priest, and they looked at him and said, don't have time for that. Then the Levite who is associates, helps the priest, he came there and said same thing, you know, I don't have time for that. A Samaritan, who's really hated by this guy over here in the ditch, he comes and he binds up his wounds and pour on oil and so forth. Who was the kind one? It was the one who expected nothing in return. Now listen very carefully. Are you listening? Say amen. If you give something to someone in expectation of something in return, that is not kindness. And you see, the Samaritan did something for the jew and he knew there was nothing he could receive in return.

Then I think about, Paul and Silas, when they were in prison. You know about midnight they had this earthquake and as a result, jail was shaken, they were freed and the jailer came in, he was going to kill himself because in those days if a roman had a responsibility and he failed in some way, he'd take your life. And so, he said, Paul said, don't do that. And, so the man said, he'd been listening to Paul and Silas in there singing. And so he said, sirs, what must I do to be saved? So they told him how to be saved and the Bible says his response. He took them home. He bound up their wounds and put on oil and so forth for healing and cooked a big dinner for them that night. That is kindness. You see in each case, nobody expected anything in return. How much do we do for other people without expectation?

Now. With that in mind, I want to give you a little test. So get your paper out: and if you're watching or listening, get you a piece of paper out because you'll learn something in a moment. You're going to find out how kind you are, or if you're kind at all. And so, what I'd like to do, I'm going to give you a list, now watch this, all of these are what kindness is all about. In other words, when we say kind, k-i-n-d, what's that? Okay, I'm going to show you what kindness is all about in a moment. It looks like a little small word but it's a gigantic word. So, now here's what I'd like for you to do. I want you to put a check, if this quality is true of you, put a check by it. If not, you can either put an x by it or don't put anything by it. And let's agree we're not going to look on anybody else's paper. Amen? Amen? I want truth, amen?

Okay, all right, so we're all going to be honest with each other. Now, so let's begin with the first quality that involves kindness and that's simply this:

Kindness gives.
Kindness also forgives, "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving (each other)".
Kindness smiles. A kind person can smile when things are tough.
A kind person is willing to be second.
A kind person is attractive. There's something about them.
A kind person does not insist on having their own way.
A kind person takes pleasure in pleasing others. They're delighted when others are pleased by what they do.
A kind person has a pleasant disposition. And you know what the opposite of that looks like. A kind person has a pleasant disposition. How're you doing? Good to see you this morning.
A kind person has a concern for others, they care about somebody else.
A kind person loves.
A kind person is gentle, easy.
A kind person is warm hearted.
A kind person is unselfish.
A kind person is generous.

A kind person is understanding, they take the time to listen and to be sure they heard what you meant.
A kind person is considerate, there's leeway.
A kind person is thoughtful.
A kind person is healing. There's something about kindness that is very, very healing in a person's life. Kindness is merciful. Kindness uses kind words. I've been thinking about you. I've been praying for you. I've been lifting your name to the Lord. A kind person is helpful. See we said kind and being kind is a word of action.
A kind person is helpful, looks for ways to be helpful.
A kind person is courteous.

You know, I'll never forget, some time ago, I was standing at the door before this lady walked in and I opened the door. She says, I can open my own door. I said, I know you can, but not today. You know what? It just tickled me to death because I could show kindness to her. I didn't know she was going to respond that-a-way, but the worse she was, the better I felt about it. Because, and once on one occasion, I had the same almost situation and they walked in and I said, chivalry is not dead yet. It's on it's way out, but it's not dead yet. So you know, you can always think of ways to be courteous. And kindness excuses the mistakes of others. We all make mistakes: and so we excuse the mistakes. We don't hold it against folks. Kindness is goodness in action. And if I'm kind, I'm going to be good in many ways. Now I want you to watch this next one. I want you to listen to it before you write it down. It'll be on the board. Kindness is like snow, it beautifies everything it covers. Isn't that a sweet, wonderful way to describe it? Kindness is like snow, it beautifies everything it covers.

Now, when you look at your list, how are you doing? Pretty good? Well, the next question and most important thing is, well how do, how do I develop a kind spirit? Well, first of all, we've said that when the Holy Spirit comes into your life. Well, the fruit of the Spirit, that is the Spirit of God will release all the fruit of the Spirit within us, but I have to be willing to allow him to do it. I have to be obedient to him. So when you and I walk in the Spirit as we say, that is living in obedience to the Holy Spirit, we're going to be kind. And for most all of us, we have to develop that, but we will be kind because that's the work of the Spirit. Secondly, we'll understand what kindness is, then we'll put aside, lay aside all those attitudes that don't fit who we are.

As followers of Jesus, there are some things don't fit who we are. And so that's a conflict with being kind. If, for example, I'm selfish, that is in conflict with being kind. If I'm haughty, that's in conflict with being kind. If I'm critical, that's in conflict with being kind. So what do we do? We lay aside those attitudes as they crop up in our life that don't fit who we are, and that we don't want really in our life. If somebody said to you tomorrow, you are very unkind. What would you say? You know what? If somebody said that to me, I'd just say, thank you very much. Because no matter what they meant, I know in my heart that if I'm unkind, I want to be corrected. Because you see, kindness also corrects in the right spirit.

And so we all can have correction at times in our life and then once in a while somebody will say something that just hits you the wrong way because you misunderstand. We all can misunderstand. But kindness is quick to forgive and say, you know, that's fine: I understand. Well, here's one way of developing kindness. Ask yourself the question, how do I want to be treated? How do I want somebody to treat me? However that is, I want to be treated kindly and courteous. I want people to be thoughtful, just like God wants us all to be treating each other. Also, kindness focuses on the needs of others and not on yourself. And so if I want to develop kindness in my life, I begin to look at other people. What do they need? What is it in their life that I can do to help them in whatever way possible? And you know what's going to happen?

When you develop kindness in your life, you're going to want to give. You're going to want to give in ways that you never thought about giving. You're going to want to give when you think, well, I don't have to give. Yes you do. God creates a sense of generosity in a kind heart. And you're going to find yourself giving and asking yourself, how do I want to be treated? And asking God also to help you develop the attitude of kindness. Will he do it? Yes he will. And here's what he will do. You'll be prompted to treat somebody unkindly and God will help you catch that, just like that. You say, oh, thank you very much. And, you ask God to help you. Then you have to practice it. You have to practice being kind.

You say, well how do I practice? Well let me give you and example. Let's say you're going to lunch today somewhere. And the waiter or waitress comes up and gives you a menu. You say, well that's his job. But suppose you say, thank you very much. You've opened the door. You've opened the door to say something else kindly. Well thank you very much for putting this right here, could you think I could have a little of this, that and the other? Thank you very much. Now I can say "Thank you", that's a little short. When I say, thank you very much, that puts a whole new tenor on what you're saying. Or you could say to somebody, I appreciate you thinking about that. That was very kind of you. You see, the truth is we can all be kind if we stop and think about what kindness would do in this particular situation.

Let's just say that the table next to you, the little boy, he's about two sitting in his high chair and knocks something over and what happens? Oh my goodness! It's all over your shoe and so the parent says, oh, I'm just, I apologize. And on and on and on she goes. You say, well you know what? That's okay. You know, we can always buy socks or get us a pair of shoes. I say, don't, don't let that bother you one bit. Or you could say, don't you know it, don't you teach your kids any better than that? In other words, if you'll think about it, we have a choice of responses in about everything in life, right? So you need to prepare yourself. Arm yourself with what you'd say if somebody, if somebody wrongs you, just say, bless them, Lord, or Lord, I understand. But in other words, you're not going to live in this life without being challenged by something and somebody so many times.

And so what do we do? We decide how we're going to respond. If somebody drops something on me, that's okay: thank you very much: we'll take care of that. If somebody comes to your house and you've got your best china out, and somebody knocks over a glass of tea and breaks that glass right in front of you and tea all over the place. Let's be honest, what's your first response? Listen carefully. Is your first response, they don't know how much that glass costs. Or is that first response, they're just, keep fumble. Or is your first response, oh, you know what? We all make mistakes. That's the only legitimate thing. In other words, who doesn't make a mistake? Have you ever knocked over anything? We all have. We've all made mistakes, and how do we want somebody to respond to us? Well, that everybody makes mistakes, no, no problem.

So you and I have to decide, do I want to be like Jesus or do I not? Kindness is who Jesus is. It's what the Holy Spirit is all about. It's the character-quality God wants in every one of his children. Now, kindness doesn't mean that you never correct error. Because Jesus turned and looked at Peter, and he said, "That is the devil". When Jesus was telling him in caesarea philippi, he was going to have to suffer and this, that, and the other, and Peter said, "That's not going to happen to you". And so, he turned to him and he said, "That's the devil".

You may have to say to your children something strong, but if your heart is kind, you're just correcting as gently, we should correct people as gently as we know how, and sometimes you have to correct strongly, firmly. Because that's what discipline is all about. In other words, God doesn't come to me and say, "Well, Charles, how would you like to be disciplined"? No, no, no. In other words, kindness is a quality of Almighty God, of the Holy Spirit, that he has predetermined and predestined that all of his children would be characterized with kindness. Can anybody give me an argument against being kind? No you can't. Well, maybe you're not a Christian.

And you'll say, "Well, I don't think that works". It won't for you. It won't. You know why? Because your old sin nature's in control and your old sin nature's all about self. How's it going to effect me? What am I going to get out of this? I don't want somebody to take advantage of me. And you see, here's what the devil will say, "Well, if you act kinda like that they'll take advantage of you". So what? If they take advantage of you God will take care of them. You don't have to worry about that. We just want to be sure that the qualities within our life are godly, because they ultimately win every time.

And if you've never trusted Jesus as your Savior, you're going to go on spiritually sick. Wondering what's wrong with life. Nothing wrong with life, as long as you allow Jesus to give you his life. So I'd ask you to consider this morning, if you've never placed your life in the hands of a loving, kind God, you need to do it. And that comes to the confession and repentance of your sin and asking the Lord to forgive you based on the cross, what he did at the cross, and surrendering your life to him. And you can do that this morning right where you are. If you're a person and you looked at your score this morning and you said, where have I been"? You've been on the wrong side. You say what should I do about it? You should ask God to forgive you, repent of it, turn away from it and start working today in building a spirit of kindness in your life and he'll help you do it. Amen?

Father, how grateful we are this morning for your patience. We all have to learn these things and oftentimes relearn them again and again and again. I pray that you'll impress upon every parent here, that teaching by demonstration, word of mouth, to their children very early in life, one of the key qualities that demonstrate a Christ-like spirit to their children. And Father that we would teach others by, first of all, example in every way possible. We love you, Father, and don't know how to express adequate enough all the ways you have shown kindness to us. And we thank you this morning, in Jesus name, amen.

Are you Human?:*
  1. Nora Floyd
    4 November 2018 14:58
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    I would like a copy of this sermon. I have someone in my family that truly needs this.
      4 November 2018 21:24
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      Just download! That's free!