Welcome to our Summer Love series, opening with our second love marker: kindness.
Read “Patience: Love Marker 1.” Next week you’ll hear two NOT-love markers — jealousy and arrogance! Please subscribe to our blog so you get every post in the Summer Love series.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Did you realize Paul’s beautiful words to the Corinthians showed how to use spiritual gifts? They also are the perfect definition of love. You can apply it to husbands and wives, friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and even enemies. Go here for a crash course of patience!
Do you want to grow in love? Enjoy these blog posts by guest author Pastor Matthew Black of Living Hope Church in suburban Chicago. Pastor Matt kindly let us excerpt sections of a chapter in his forthcoming book The Marriage Enrichment Book. –Ed.
Giving Till it Hurts
Someone described kindness as “giving until it hurts.” Growing in Christ is a lot of work. No one can do it alone.
That’s why you and I need to be kind and serve our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. If you are a married person, your closest brother or sister in Christ is your spouse.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph 4:32).
Definition: To Be Useful
Origen had it that this means that love is “sweet to all.” Jerome spoke of what he called “the benignity” of love. So much Christianity is good but unkind, especially in marriage where there is less accountability.
The word translated “kindness” here means “to be useful or profitable, to furnish what is needed.”
Love puts the needs of others first. To be kind is to make life easier for the other person and to serve them from your heart.
It is the same word that Jesus uses when he says, “My yoke is easy [same Greek word for kind] and my burden is light.” Kindness, like Jesus, gets into the harness of life’s problems with the other person and does all they can to lift those burdens. That’s kindness.
Kindness takes many forms. In general, it is soft and gentle. Occasionally, however, kindness must take the form of a careful rebuke designed to bring about a good result.
Join the Conversation
Think of a recent time you were kind to someone. How did you express kindness? What did it cost you? How did your kindness help unburden the other person?