In addition to exhibiting empathy and showing kindness to yourself and others, in order to fully embrace kindness, you must let go of hatred, bitterness, and resentment. If you allow a relationship to deteriorate because of resentment, you will find it difficult to express a kind word or make a kind gesture to that person. But by practicing kindness and praying for that person, even if you don’t feel like it, you will help heal that relationship. As you let go of bitterness and ill-will toward a person, you will grow in lovingkindness, finding freedom in forgiveness and humility.

Showing kindness to others won’t always be easy. You may face rejection. Or you may need to spend significant amounts of your time or resources. But showing kindness is not only a fruit of the Spirit, it will restore your soul. It banishes hatred and gives room for love to take root. Set aside your own agenda and your fear of rejection and exercise the kindness of the Holy Spirit.

Today as you spend time with God in prayer, ask Him to show you the areas in your life that are holding you back from experiencing kindness. Do you find yourself judging instead of empathizing with others when they are in need or have failed? Is there a past sin in your own life for which you haven’t allowed God to forgive you? Whatever the reason, ask for God’s strength to enable you to overcome these obstacles. And begin to pray regularly for the Holy Spirit to prompt you daily to show kindness to others.

Prayer: Father, help me to overcome the obstacles that are keeping me from exercising kindness. I pray that Your Spirit would prompt me to show kindness to those around me today. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else” (1 Thessalonians 5:15).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon The Spirituality That Heals, Part 5: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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