We’ve all met them – and probably been wounded by them – those people who always have to be right. They jump at the chance to ‘correct’ others on even the most insignificant things.
Sometimes we think correcting others will boost our ego and make us feel good. But it never does – especially if we see in their eyes that we have hurt someone with our loud arrogant correction.
If we follow Jesus, a different spirit should be growing inside us. Its fruit should become visible to others.
‘The fruit of the Spirit is … kindness’
The dictionary describes kindness as ‘having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature.’ From an Old English word meaning ‘courteous, gentle, benevolent.’
Jesus met a group of Pharisees who were keen to correct others rather than be kind. He called them snakes – biting and poisonous. Actually, the Pharisees did do acts of kindness but usually to show off in public. But they had no kindness for their families and those closest to them.
The fruit of kindness needs to be seen by those we live with and interact with everyday, not just on the odd occasion at a church event where everyone can see and admire us.
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit that should be growing in us year on year. The longer we have been following Jesus, the more evident this fruit of kindness should be.
Peter and John were so full of the Holy Spirit they we taken to court to account for ‘… an act of kindness shown to a cripple …’! (Acts 4:9)
Christians talk a lot about love. But Paul tells us:
‘Love is … kind.’
1 Corinthians 13:4
If the love of God is in us, we should frequently be choosing kindness over being right. If we always have to be right and correct others, then kindness is not in us. We may need to do some personal work and get our character sorted out.
Even when people wrong us, it is no excuse for being arrogant.
‘Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.’
1 Thessalonians 5:15
I am not saying we should never stand up for what we believe. God hasn’t called us to be wimps. You can be right about things clearly. But if you always insist on being right and put others down, where is the love of God in you?
Before I leave the house in the morning I always put my pants on. Believe me the whole world is glad about that! Maybe before we get out of bed each day we should at least put on the ‘pants of kindness’.
‘clothe yourselves with … kindness …’
If you want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in you, you will need to choose kindness over being right most of the time.
When and where should you start? Right where you are right now, and with the next person you speak to.