Happy weekend, dear gal! I’m so glad you stopped by Dressed for My Day where on Saturdays we talk about inner beauty. As I contemplate my topics for these weekend posts I try to think about the characteristics I see in the most beautiful women I know. Honestly, I almost skipped today’s topic because it’s something at which I do not excel. But I couldn’t avoid the fact that truly beautiful women are endearingly kind. So let’s talk about kindness…what it is, what it looks like and how we might cultivate this attribute in our inner woman.
What is Kindness?
Kindness is part of the fruit of the Spirit. While we can be kind and act kindly toward others without the Spirit of God within us, we’ll struggle to be consistently kind-hearted without God at work in our lives.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23
Kindness is a disposition of thinking lovingly and behaving gently toward others. I think the different elements of the fruit of the Spirit above are listed in the order they are in because they build upon one another. We won’t be and behave kindly toward others without a measure of love for people, a disposition of sustaining joy, an attitude of peace and a little patience.
In the same way, kindness precedes goodness in the list above because being good to other people is a direct outcome of a kind disposition towards them. In other words, if we’re truly kind women we’ll demonstrate that by doing a little good.
All that to say that kindness isn’t just a feeling; it’s a behavior. A kind woman demonstrates compassion through acts of kindness. Recently, two of my dearest friends were kind to travel hundreds and hundreds of miles to attend my son’s wedding. Not only that, but they each showed up with little gifts for me. They didn’t have to do that. Their simple presence blew me away. The little gifts they gave me took my breath away.
How to Cultivate Kindness
Like I said, kindness is not my strong suit. So I don’t offer this advice from experience, but from a personal plan. If you take my tips to heart you can know that I’m working to implement them in my own life, too.
While the Holy Spirit will supernaturally produce kindness in our lives if we walk with Him and stay sensitive to His prompting, we still need to water the seed He plants in the fertile ground of our tender hearts. How can we cooperate with the Spirit so that we become kinder?
- Contemplate kindness. Think of the women you consider to be kind. What acts of kindness have you seen them do? Take note of these and decide to follow suit. Acts of kindness to do not come naturally to all of us. We’re just not wired that way. But we can learn to be more aware of what kindness looks like and decide to pick up the mantle.
- Prepare for kindness. I was raised to take a hostess gift when invited to someone’s home, but I realized that I was often forgetting to buy one before the time came to arrive at my hostess’ home. So now I stock up on hostess gifts ahead of time. I have to plan to be kind. Otherwise I just end up feeling kind, but not acting kind. Kindness requires action, so plan ahead for acts of kindness.
- Listen to people. Kindness isn’t always convenient. And acts of kindness can’t be about me; they must meet another person’s need. So that means I have to pay attention to the people in my life. What acts of kindness does my husband really need from me? Mine needs a word of encouragement, an ironed shirt, my companionship and a glass of water after mowing the grass. These needs don’t always come at a convenient time for me. But kindness is going out of my way to consider another person’s needs.
- Practice kindness. Set a goal to show kindness to someone daily. When we put it on our to-do list we’ll be more aware of opportunities for kindness and “strengthen our serve.” Begin with forced acts of kindness such as picking up the Starbucks tab for a young mom finishing up her Target run or taking soup to a sick friend. As we practice kindness daily we’ll become more accustomed to using this muscle.
Do you have tips for cultivating kindness? I suppose more than anything we just need to be more aware, less self-centered. Today, let’s ask God to give us a heightened awareness of other people, their needs and how we can serve them with kindness.
Do you have thoughts you’d like to share about today’s topic? I’d love to hear from you today! I tend to take as much time off from work as I can during the weekends, so I may not reply to your comments unless you ask me a direct question. But I’d love for you to carry on this conversation in the comment section below. And you can know for certain that I read and value each and every comment. Please remember that I try to keep this space free from controversy, so let’s stay away from the topic of politics or other divisive issues.
If you’d like to read other posts about inner beauty, just click here! You’ll always find an Inner Beauty tab under the Beauty tab at the top of my blog.
12 thoughts on “The Beauty of Kindness and How to Cultivate It”
Love this post today, Kay! I intend to save it and revisit it frequently. Sometimes I think of kind thingsI should do for others, but I don’t always follow through. I’m asking the Holy Spirit to help me with that. Thank you for just what I needed to hear today! Have a blessed time with your parents! ?
Wonderful post. What are suggestions for hostess gifts. I always want to give them just don’t know what to take. Thanks!
I’m so glad you asked!! That’s one of the gift guides coming to Dressed for My Day this week. I hope to have that one up Monday. ?
Kay, awesome post! These posts are my favorites! Thank you ? ENJOY your time with your family! I’m a GA girl ?❤️?
Today’s post was wonderful! I definitely appreciate the reminder to live and practice a life of kindness.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on kindness. I definitely want to be more intentional with acts of kindness. Love the reminder of God’s display of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. ?
This was a beautifully written post this morning!
I guess I am not always kind myself. I took my 8 year old grandson for kolaches this morning. After he paid, he had $2.45
In change. I asked him if he wanted me to hold his change and he said , “no” and proceeded to the “tip” jar and placed all of the money in it! Immediately I said, “why did you do that”? With that, he burst out in tears! Then he said , “ I was just trying to be nice and the lady who waited on me was nice!”
Can you imagine how small I felt! This might have been the strongest message of kindness I have ever experienced.
Now, I was reminded today, first by my grandson and now from this blog from you. Maybe, this will help me to practice kindness a little more readily!
I loved this post Kay! I am always looking for ways to express kindness to others. However more often than not, I think kindness is expressed through the unique gifts God equips us with as individuals and we don’t even recognize we’re being kind! That’s when the fruit of the Spirit is displayed so beautifully! Kay, i see you as an amazingly kind person as you encourage and teach women to live out our inner and outer best for Christ! You may not recognize your kindness but it’s expressed and evident to those of us who read your Blog everyday! Thank you for enlightening me about the progression of the fruit of the Spirit list in Galatians! I had never thought about that. Enjoy being with your parents this weekend you Sweet, kind lady!
Thanks so very much, Nancy. You have encouraged me. ❤️
Thank you for this post. While kindness is one of the most simple acts, I find myself having to stop, pay attention and pass it along to others.
Kindness is one of the many things I love to read and hear about the life of Christ.
Have a great day
Kay, I am loving this series. I love the intentionality you speak about to grow in Christ, and to become the woman God intends us to be. It is a work in progress, but a beautiful journey nonetheless. I think of kindness as a fragrance. When we are in the presence of others, what inspires them to do God’s work through the Spirit? Thank you…have a beautiful day!
Ah yes. I like that. A fragrance of kindness. ❤️