Kindness is a characteristic of God. Unkindness is not. Therefore, be kind and you will be like God=godly.
17 Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.
What other words could we include with cruel? Of course, unkind; also, harsh, manipulative, demanding, abrasive, self-centered, haughty, as well as others. Each of these traits damage relationships, and we all are capable of at least some of them.
It’s God’s design. In order to have the capability to love, we must be given the capability to hate. Our ability to choose to love is what makes us like God. We are made in His image (Genesis 1:26), and therefore, have the ability to choose to be like Him. God IS love (1 John 4:16). The problem is that we don’t have the POWER to be like Him, which is why we need His Spirit within us.
With the Holy Spirit empowering us, we CAN be like God=godly. So, what is God like? According to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8,
- He is patient.
- He is kind.
- He is not envious.
- He does not boast (put others down by lifting Himself up).
- He is not arrogant and proud (He is God, but He doesn’t impose Himself upon people).
- He is not rude. OUCH!
- He does not insist on His own way (which is why the world is in the shape it’s in!).
- He does not get irritable or resentful.
- He does not delight in evil.
- He rejoices when truth is revealed and honored.
- He always protects (our spiritual position in Him).
- He always trusts (He allows us to make our own decisions).
- He always hopes (His hope is different; He KNOWS that we will someday be glorified).
- He always perseveres/endures (He is working His PLAN).
- He never fails at any of these attributes.
How about us? Through His Spirit, we can be JUST LIKE HIM. Jesus was when He walked this earth, and we are being transformed into His image (see 2 Cor. 3:18 and Romans 8:29).
The KEY is to walk with Him daily, seeking His face in prayer and in the Scriptures, and then living out His characteristics. Let’s take the initiative and DO IT.
My heart says of you, “Seek His face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Psalm 27:8