Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32 ESV).
Kindness is not always easy, which is why forgiveness must often be a part of kindness. It is easy to be kind to those who are generous in return. It is difficult when others are gruff or rude. Such kindness is Christlike because Jesus endured all manner of evil without responding with hatred or malice. Generosity and courtesy to those who are spiteful is a mark of spiritual maturity, and kindness is the working (or fruit) of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Learn to control your reactions when you feel angry or upset. It is not wrong to feel anger; it is wrong to respond with meanness. Overlook the faults of others and remind yourself that you need the same forgiveness your faults and sins. The apostle Paul calls to be “kind … forgiving one another, God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 ESV). No one is exempt from the need for forgiveness.
Today, ask the Lord to help you demonstrate kindness. Then, when you are confronted with meanness, take a couple of breaths and count to ten before you say those unkind words. Control your emotions and your response to those who are hateful. Jesus said that the world would hate you because you belong to his kingdom (John 15:18-19), so smile when the world rebuffs you. Your kindness undermines the hatred of the world and disarms it. Think of your Savior and be kind.
For more reminders of Christlike character, visit the Daily Bible Verse page.