We can all agree this present world of ours needs more kindness. Individually, we may not be able to do much about the vitriolic, venomous rhetoric dominating our national discussions, but we can do something about impacting our own little circle of influence by intentionally injecting more kindness into our daily discourse and interactions with others.
Being kind always, even in those moments where we don’t feel quite up to the task, glorifies the God we serve. As a response, kindness cuts through the thickest air of dissension. Kindness honors our parents as well as our Lord. The work of Christ on the Cross has alleviated us from the burdens associated with trying to keep the Law, freeing us to be kind in every aspect of our daily life.
Kindness is demonstrated through our benevolence and graciousness toward others. Love, joy, and peace focus more on the command to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind. Patience, kindness, and goodness help us show our love toward others.
Prayer: God, help me be kinder today. Let me deal with people benevolently and graciously so that I may honor you in all that I say and do. If I am kinder, I am happier.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
Joy. What a great word. Joy is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune. It is also the emotion that comes by the prospect of possessing what one desire. Joy is delighting in something or someone. Think of the first time you held your child in your arms, your wedding day, or that promotion you attained after all the hard work you put in week after week.
Paul follows up the first fruit of the Spirit, love, with joy. To experience joy, we must know love. None of us can be truly joyful without experiencing love. Love brings us joy. Through joy we can fully experience the inner-goodness of God and the inner-goodness of the people in our lives. We can rejoice about the inner-goodness God has bestowed upon us through faith and grace. You see that’s where the fruit of the Spirit stems from…grace and faith. We need God’s grace and we must have faith if we are truly going to abundantly experience all that the Lord has to offer. What a great feeling joy is!
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
I’ve heard it said that God delights in us when we are most satisfied in Him. He takes joy in us being fulfilled by Him. God rejoices when we choose to join Him in the work He is doing all around us. He delights in us when we seek to live our lives according to His will and purpose for our lives.
What are things that bring you joy?
Heavenly Father, thank you for the joy You give us. We live our best life when we remain totally satisfied in You. What a delight it is to serve You. What a joy it is to be loved by You. You are SO good to us. Amen.
The Devotional Guy™
Beginning and ending the day in prayer is a good thing. Or at least it should be. The intent in my offering these morning and evening prayers is not to constrict you or burden you. To the contrary, I hope that it will free you and help you grow spiritually, especially in your own prayer life. Selfishly, I am doing this as much to help myself. That’s what this blog is about—spiritual growth. Since it’s inception, The Devotional Guy™ is meant to be a writing ministry shining a light of hope in what can oftentimes be a dark world.
As we’ve looked at different prayers this past week, what are some morning and evening prayers that come to your mind? Do you write your own? I’d be thrilled to hear about them. Maybe I could even post some of your favorites here on this blog? That would be cool. Drop me a line here.
As we can see from Peter’s example in Matthew 14:30, prayers don’t need to be lengthy. A lot can be said in a few words. They can be uttered in the moment.
I have found, in my own spiritual life, that the more rules I lay down for myself, the more sins I commit. The habit of regular morning and evening prayer is one which is indispensable to a believer’s life, but the prescribing of the length of prayer, and the constrained remembrance of so many persons and subjects, may gender unto bondage, and strangle prayer rather than assist it.
Peace be with you.
The Devotional Guy™