Kindness Bible Reading Plan

Cultivating Kindness in This Season of Hate

It’s been a devastating week of death, hatred, and injustice. Sorrow has manifested in riots and destruction since the death of George Floyd. Our country needs healing. I believe kindness could begin the process.

The kindness I’m talking about does not come natural to us. As broken people living in a shattered world where discrimination, fear, and hatred often force atrocious actions, we the forgiven, need help to forgive. Yes, sometimes kindness is so much more than opening the door for someone, kindness includes hard things like forgiveness.

This kindness can only come with supernatural power.

Holy Spirit Kindness

This Sunday we commemorated Pentecost, the day Holy Spirit entered our space continuum. The wind blew, fire rested upon heads, and foreign languages began to flow from believing lips.

Peter, once fearful, boldly preached the good news of the Presence of God in our world. God had come through His son named Jesus. As the crowd listened many began to believe, but it was not the perfect presentation that persuaded the crowd. It was the Holy Spirit.

Everyday Holy Spirit

I would love for God to use me as He did Peter that day, but the power and infilling of the Spirit works in small, everyday ways too. It’s not a one time big event, but an every day filling and partnering with His presence to help change our world.

One day as I hurried out of the mall to my car, I noticed an older woman standing on the curb.When I passed her, another woman walked past her too, but she stopped and asked, “Are you okay? Do you need some help?”

At that moment, I stopped to hear the elderly lady’s reply. I didn’t want to be rude. Maybe she did need help. I had assumed someone was coming to get her, but maybe she needed both our help.

She shook her head, “I’m waiting on my daughter. I’m fine.”

I smiled at the sweet lady who had paused to inquire of need, and our eyes met. There was no doubt in my mind she knew Jesus. Walking on to my car, my heart filled with gratitude for the kindness of the woman who stopped and asked if help was needed.

The incident made me think, People really can be kind to one another.

Yet honestly, and sadly, kindness isn’t always what comes naturally to us–in our me-first, fast-paced culture. I will be the first to admit it’s not always what comes out of me!

Cultivate Kindness By Slowing Down

My experience that day made me sit back and think how we can cultivate such kindness, and the first thing that came to mind was to slow down.I was walking so quickly to my car, I assumed there was no need to ask the older woman if she needed assistance. Kindness takes time. Maybe that is why the Fruit of the Spirit that comes before kindness is patience.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (addition mine).

In order to slow down, we need to leave margin in our schedule to have time for kindness. Leave 15 minutes early. My mind was so focused on my agenda, I wasn’t seeing anyone else’s need around me.

Breathe and Pray Before You Respond

I find I do and say things I later regret if I react quickly rather than pray first before I respond. Prayer slows me down. It takes time, but it also allows Holy Spirit a chance to take over.

Before commenting on a social media post that upsets you or responding to someone on the opposite side, breathe in and out three times, then pray. Pray for Holy Spirit wisdom.

Stir Up Kindness By Being Aware

Kindness is a mindset. We need to be on the lookout of who might need our kindness. My daughter taught me a lesson in this too. (I’m learning a lot about kindness!)

As we walked to our car after a yummy pizza dinner, a homeless man walked passed us. Lauren looked over at me and smiled. She picked up her pace to meet him and offered our left-overs. “It’s a miracle!” he cried.

My friends, it feels so good to be kind. Keep your eyes open for “kindness opportunities” everyday. My daughter demonstrated it to her mama, but as young moms and dads, and grandparents, we have so many opportunities show our kids and grandkids what kindness looks like.

Spend Time With Jesus

Though we assume the Fruit of the Spirit will gently flow out of us, we must partner with the Lord to walk with such power and influence. The Fruits of the Spirit are powerful. They are influential to those receiving the kindness and those near it. 

Spend time with Jesus first. Jesus never missed an opportunity to be kind. The disciples spent every waking hour with him watching his every move, listening to his responses. He touched the untouchables, reached out to the broken, and fed the hungry.

The job of the talmidim (or disciples) was to become like the rabbi. The people we spend time with affect our actions- and reactions. Though Jesus is not here with us in the flesh, we can discover his ways by studying his word, spending time in prayer, and worshiping him. He has not left us without his Spirit. He is here. Start your day in the word, even if it’s just five minutes with the printable I’ve made of this Bible reading plan and study on kindness. 

kindness reading plan

Sneak Peek of Bible Reading Plan on Kindness:

Hebrews 13:2

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Prompt:  Is hospitality something you enjoy, or is it something you shy away from? It’s true that some of us are Martha’s and love to entertain, but does this verse command only those with the gift to be hospitable? What is the blessing for showing such kindness? May I release you right now from the thought of needing a perfect house and gourmet food when you have company? Order a pizza and make brownies, pick up a little, and clean the guest bathroom. I promise, they don’t care. They are just blessed to be invited over. Who will you invite within the next 2 weeks to your home?

Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly[a] with your God.

Prompt: The word “mercy” has been translated from Chesed which means covenantal, merciful acts of loving-kindness. Re-rewrite the verse with this definition in the place of “mercy.” What makes chesed different from mercy?

Proverbs 3:3

Never tire of loyalty and kindness. Hold these virtues tightly. Write them deep within your heart. (TLB)

Prompt: Can you guess what the Hebrew word is for kindness in this verse? Yep, it’s Chesed. How is God’s kindness different from the world’s?

Grab the Printable

Luke 6:35

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Prompt: What is the hardest aspect of this verse? Why must we do it?

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Prompt: The word “kind” was translated from Chrestos. This word involves a softening, a mellowing of sorts. This kindness may take prayer. It may take time and asking for God’s supernatural grace to help you find the compassion and softening to forgive someone who hurt you or worse, someone you love. If you have someone you need to forgive, write a prayer asking God to soften your heart.

Psalm 119: 76-77

I know, O Lord, that your decisions are right and that your punishment was right and did me good. Now let your loving-kindness comfort me, just as you promised. Surround me with your tender mercies that I may live. For your law is my delight.

Prompt: The psalmist describes being “disciplined” by God, but what does he then ask for? Have you experienced this? How did God’s loving-kindness comfort you?

Palm 141:5

Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness, let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.

Prompt: This is a different kind of “kindness”. How can a rebuke be kind? How should this verse affect our way of interacting with our fellow believers?

“Jesus, we pray your Holy Spirit would take over. Help us yield to you more and more, so as image bearers of a Holy God, Kingdom people, Children of God, we may bring the light into the world with kindness and love. Amen.”

Click to get the printable with each scripture and a question or prompt to help you apply the verses to your life. 

When Kindness is not Easy

Let’s face it. Sometimes kindness is not easy. Sometimes it doesn’t flow out of us like we’d hoped because kindness is not always returned. Read this definition from Life, Hope, and Truth:

Kindness is humbly giving of ourselves in love and mercy to others who may not be able to give anything back, who sometimes don’t deserve it, and who frequently don’t thank us for it. Basically kindness means a way of thinking that leads to doing thoughtful deeds for others.

When kindness is hard to give, take some time to stop and ask why.

Is it pride, unforgiveness, or judgment that doesn’t allow the kindness to flow?

The word “kindness” has been translated in Galatians 5:22 from the Greek word Chrestos. It means a softening or mellowing of something that was once harsh. It is not in our nature to give such humble, merciful kindness to people who don’t deserve it, but we have been given the most wonderful kindness from God in his Son and the gift of his Spirit.

Prayer for Kindness

Pray with me?

“Soften our hearts, Lord. Make us mellow in our response. Cultivate Chestos in us. Help us slow down and look for opportunities to be kind. Fill us and empower the fruit of kindness to flow from our hearts, minds, and actions. Amen. ”

I pray this for our country. May the healing love and kindness of Jesus flow through us by the power of His Spirit. I pray this week of Pentecost bring a shift in the heavens that will bring healing to our land.

See You Wednesday Night!

I’m looking forward to studying kindness with you Wednesday night on Facebook. (Just follow me.) I go live at 7:30 PM ET. Come on over to my living room for some soul nourishment. You can watch them later on YouTube too if that’s better for you.

I’d love to hear from you. What’s one of the most kind actions anyone has done for you (besides Jesus.) Leave a comment!

Digging Deep in Kindness,

Andy

PS. If this was encouraging, and you don’t want to miss any Bite of Bread reading plans and posts, subscribe today! You’ll receive a 22-Day Devotion on Psalm 119 called Finding the Beauty {Full} in God’s Word.Just click here to dig deep to live fully. 🙂 

P.S.S. This is part of a series on the Fruit of the Spirit. Read the articles on love, joy, peace, and patience if you missed them!

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4 thoughts on “Cultivating Kindness in This Season of Hate”

  1. Loved this post-thank you! It was very affirming and encouraging. I, too, find that pausing and praying helps me before I speak/respond!

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