Sunday, April 8, 2012

Developing Kindness

One of the “fruits of the spirit” is kindness.  How do we develop kindness?  We have to start by becoming aware of others and then by serving others.  Even then kindness is not achieved without gaining some measure of charity, which is a gift of God bestowed because of faithfulness.  Therefore kindness, more than mere activity in church, is a measure of how close we are to the Savior.  Activity in church is designed to help us gain this and other qualities, but one can be “active” and not have developed kindness.

Kindness is not a quality you either have or not.  It is acquired line upon line, here a little and there a little.  We can be kinder at one time and lesser at another.  Initially it seems a continual struggle to get ourselves to think of others.  However with much practice it becomes more natural.  Just as with a great athlete or pianist, we must devote attention to and actively and continually seek it to develop this character trait.

It is impossible to develop this trait without also developing patience, for patience is one of the most important manifestations of kindness.  How kind it is when someone shows patience with our weaknesses!

Kindness is not indulgence however.  Sometimes the kindest thing we can do for our children is to teach them discipline, for self-discipline helps us avoid a great deal of suffering and pain.

Kindness then is thoughtfulness, awareness, and gentleness in helping each other along this difficult path of mortality.  It is one of the most desired fruits Father in Heaven wants to have grown in his vineyard.

At this Easter season, let us think on the greatest of all kindnesses, the atonement, which allows us to live again both spiritually and physically.  It took much strength, patience, and love to provide and was entirely a one-sided gift from the Savior to us.  May we use that atonement and gift of repentance to develop kindness in ourselves, especially toward those closest to us, our families, and thus be one bud that produces much desirable fruit to our Father in Heaven.

1 comment:

Carole said...

Nice blog. You might like this Wordsworth quote about little acts of kindness. Acts of Kindness