Love is…kind ~1 Corinthians 13:4
This seems like a no-brainer. Of course love is kind! If it was mean, it wouldn’t be quite so popular. Fortunately for us, this can be obtained the same way patience is. The thing is, we like to believe ourselves generally to be kind people, so we don’t think we need help in this area. Well, after some reflection, we might find that we’re not as kind as we think we are.
I am “kind” to people’s faces, but I tend to be not so kind behind their backs. I claim that I don’t gossip, but there are times when I am in a pissy mood that I am downright cruel to my friends and to people who don’t deserve it. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I’m not even kind to these people’s faces. You see, I am fluent in sarcasm. It usually comes out before I think about it and immediately want to bite my tongue. You see, sarcasm is rarely used out of good will or kindness.
Our words are our most powerful weapon. Remember that phrase we used as children when people called us names? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” What a load of crap! No matter how many times we say that to ourselves, the names still hurt. Who hasn’t been hurt by words or used words to hurt others? The guys in the Bible knew that the tongue held some true power, and they warn us time and time again to use it cautiously. “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit” (1 Peter 3:10).
This is harder than it sounds. “No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). So, if this is so impossible, than how do we fix it? Well, we can’t—not on our own, at least. This is another job for our dear friend, Mr. Holy Spirit. Remember those fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness..? What do we need to do? That’s right, abide in Christ, and we won’t immediately be the kindest people in the world, but it will gradually become easier for us to be. The more time we spend with God, the better we’ll get. We just have to make the effort.