Characteristics of Agape #2: Love is Kind
“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres alway.8 Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
Last September I wrote an article titled ‘Say cheese’. What I didn’t mention in that article however, was what had inspired me to write it. I had been standing for quite some time, tired and frazzled at an ‘open air’ bus stop, under the full blaze of the sun and in the midst of a busy roadside market in Lagos, Nigeria when my eyes locked his. He was a little boy, between six and eight years of age. He wore dirty torn clothes and looked like he was peddling recycled cement bags.
When my eyes met his, I noticed he was smiling at me. At the sight of his smile, I smiled back and for some reason decided not to break our eye contact. The little boy too didn’t shift his gaze either. Instead, he kept looking at me, all the while smiling contently. In those few seconds, in between my surprise at his boldness to maintain his gaze and my admiration over his ability to smile in the midst of the lack in his life, my smile morphed into a chuckle as he finally broke his gaze and went about his business.
As I continued my journey home that day, I kept smiling at the thought of what had just happened. That little boy though a complete stranger had brightened my day by simply smiling at me. Though he may not have had any material thing to give me, he had shown me kindness by his smile. A smile which conveyed to me the unspoken message, ‘I care. I think you’re special. Don’t look so sad cos your life’s not that hard,’
To be kind means to be generous, considerate and friendly. It also means to show gestures of goodwill towards others. The key word here I believe is ‘gestures ’ meaning, those acts or actions we perform to show that we want what’s best for the other person. In fact, the word translated as ’kind’ in the NIV translation is translated in The Message translation to mean ‘to care more for others than for self’,
The God-kind of love is not selfish.
In what ways then can you and I be more unselfish in our relationships and interactions with others? In countless ways I believe. We would only need to stop thinking only in terms of what we want and be willing to give of ourselves and our resources to make others feel better; a kind smile, a thoughtful phone call, an honest compliment, an unexpected gift, the list is truly endless.
Finally, when we show acts of kindness, we derive at least three benefits;
- We please our heavenly father by obeying his instruction to love others like Christ has loved us
- We gain an opportunity to be good representatives of God’s kingdom by showing others God’s love, and
- We gain the personal fulfillment that comes from fulfilling one of God’s divine purposes for us while we’re on earth
So why not give expression to the Agape love that’s stored up in your heart by the Holy Ghost. As a believer, you’re naturally a kind person. So be kind. Be kind! Be kind!!!
Now please say this with me:
The love of God has been shed abroad in my heart by the
Holy Ghost. I shall endeavor to let that love nature dominate me.
I have God’s love nature in my heart – in my spirit.
Therefore, I’ll not let my natural reasoning dominate me.
I refuse to allow the flesh to rule me.
I’m going to walk in the Spirit by walking in love.
I am a lover not a hater.
I will practice and exercise the fruit of love so that it can
grow and increase. …….
I will make the love of God my great quest in life,
For then my love shall abound, and God shall reap the glory.
N.B. The above confession is an excerpt from Rev Kenneth Hagin’s book : ‘LOVE: The way to victory’.
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