In the first post, I challenged us to pray for God to show us ways to show patience to our loved ones. I must admit, that though I daily feel like I am failing, as I look back I see overall progress. I feel as though I am I offering my children more grace when they frustrate me, hurrying them less and in general losing my temper less. If you have been working on patience in relation to the I Corinthians model of love, please comment below on your successes. Encourage one another, you may well find it encourages you.
After "Love is patient", we find that "Love is kind." What does that mean? I honestly can't say I know. Today's challenge is to seek God in how He wants us to show kindness to the person you have challenged yourself to show more love toward. (If you feel lost, you really want to read or reread the previous article. Go to the Archive button in the left column and click January.)
According to an online dictionary, the following are synonyms for kindness: benignity, benevolence, humanity, generosity, charity, sympathy, compassion, tenderness, good turn. A person who is kind is described as being of a good or benevolent nature or disposition. Reading the synonyms still didn't help me a lot, so I looked up the antonyms. The opposite of kindness is malevolence or cruelty. Malevolence is defined as hatred. So the opposite of kindness is essentially hatred.
Wow. Now THAT spoke to me. So I began to wonder, is there a middle ground, a neutral? Something between kindness and hatred? The best I can find as a word that is neutral, somewhere between kindness and hatred is indifferent.
I'm not sure being indifferent toward your loved one isn't equally as bad as hating them. Honestly, who among us want to think our parents, our spouse or even our best friend is simply indifferent about us? Would you care if your parent didn't hate you, but was simply indifferent toward you? As if your very existence means nothing, good or bad, to them?
That may sound really harsh, but it seems to me you have 3 choices as to how you behave toward this person you have chosen to love better: with kindness, with hatred, or with indifference. Looking at it that way, I pray please Lord help me show kindness to my children each day. Help me to never cause them to feel as though I either hate them or that I am indifferent about their existence. Help me, today, to be the mom they need and You have created me to be.