Monday, October 19, 2015

A Godly Woman is Defined By Kindness

There was a post I wrote recently that garnered a lot of criticism. This criticism was from regular readers who are wise, godly women. It was difficult for me. At one point, I had to just stop and step away from it. I took a long, hot bath. Then I decided to do the next study in Interior Design. It was about kindness; just what I needed! {God is so good in working this way in our lives!}

Later, after studying for a while, I was able to go back and continue answering; making sure I was kind in all of my responses. I desire to be a woman known for her kindness, not for always being right or knowing everything. Therefore, God convicts me and challenges me in this area. 

Kindness is a characteristic of love. 1 Corinthians 13, the powerful love chapter, begins describing love with "Love is patient. Love is kind." To be kind is to love. Everything we do and the way we treat others should be defined by kindness for in this way, we are bringing glory to the Lord and His Gospel.

Do you want to increase in kindness? Then aim to be more patient. Aim to be more humble. Aim to be more forgiving. Aim to be gentler. Aim to be more sympathetic. As you grow in these related traits, you will grow in kindness. A marriage and family therapist observed that simple kindness is one of the most important ingredients for building a strong, healthy marriage.*

The day after this difficult post, one person wrote me an email apologizing for their comments and the way they came across. They wrote to Ken and me these words, "I felt like I more reacted than to try to gently persuade. I didn't really want to come across in an argumentative way. I just didn't like what I wrote mostly for the feel of the whole thing." Then they asked for our forgiveness and that we delete all of their comments. We were both thankful for this kind email.

Have you ever written or said things that you had an uncomfortable feeling about afterwards? I sure have. A lot of times, this is the Spirit within you letting you know that you were unkind. It is far better to be kind than to forcefully try to get your point across or your own way; this includes with your husband. The law of kindness should be on our tongue! {Proverbs 31:26} It's so easy to get riled up about something and forget all about kindness.

Is your speech kind? Are you kind toward the clerk who makes a mistake ringing up your order? The fast-food attendant who is anything but fast? The serviceman who is brusque and unhelpful? The team member who criticizes your skills? The colleague who constantly feels the need to brag? The friend who is quick to point out your faults? What about in social media, and when posting comments on blogs with which you disagree?*

I was shopping at my health food store the other day and began a conversation with a woman who tried to convince me that overpopulation is destroying the world and we need to be more concerned with the animals. I kindly responded that I value everything in God's creation but I value children and human beings the most; far above the animals. She didn't like this and began to lecture me on some Pacific trade thing I knew nothing about. I continued to smile kindly towards here, listened to her and tried to explain I would never agree with her. Then said good-bye. I knew it was more important to show her kindness and respect than be right, even though I knew she was so very wrong.

Charles Spurgeon, one of my favorite old-time preachers, wrote, "Speak kindly, act kindly, and do kindly, that others may say of you, 'She has been with Jesus.'" We want Jesus to gain all the glory from our lives and the greatest way to do this is by loving others and showing kindness to them, regardless of their behavior. As Jesus hung on the cross being mocked, ridiculed and tortured, he looked down upon those murdering him and said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" {Luke 23:34}. He loved His enemies, just as we are called to do.

Be  kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, 
in honor giving preference to one another.
Romans 12:10

Watch the accompanying video on Benevolence HERE.

*True Woman 201: Interior Design—Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood, ©2015 by Mary A. Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Used with permission of Moody Publishers. You can buy the book HERE.