“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “God is grieved when his children refuse to change the old ways of sin for those righteous ways of the new life. It should be noted that such responses by the Holy Spirit indicate he is a person. His personhood is also indicated by personal pronouns (John 14:17; 16:13), his personal care of believers (John 14:16, 26; 15:26), his intellect (1 Cor. 2:11), feelings (Rom. 8:27), will (1 Cor. 12:11), speaking (Acts 13:2), convicting (John 16:8–11), interceding (Rom. 8:26), guiding (John 16:13), glorifying Christ (John 16:14), and serving God (Acts 16:6–7).”
The Holy Spirit of God is grieved when believers in Christ sin (Ephesians 4:30-31). It stands to reason that the Holy Spirit of God is pleased when believers in Christ seek to live holy lives (I Peter 1:16).
What are behaviors and attitudes which please the Holy Spirit of God? The Apostle Paul provides a sampling of a Christ-like life in today’s text.
Be kind to one another pleases God. The state of being verb be (γίνομαι; ginomai) is a present, middle imperative verb. This means the God is commanding believers to personal obedience. This is to be an active obedience. It is to characterize the believer’s existence.
What is the believer in Christ to be? Kind! Kind and kindness (χρηστός; chrestos) means to be loving and gracious (Luke 6:35; Rom. 2:4; Eph. 4:32; 1 Peter 2:3). Kindness is a characteristic of self-sacrificial love of the will (I Corinthians 13:4).
God’s command for the believer in Christ to be kind is specifically to be directed towards other Christians. Believes are to keep on becoming kind to one another. We are to be useful to one another.
Kindness can be evidenced in a variety of ways. For example, it may involve picking up an individual’s groceries when they are housebound. It can involve mowing an individual’s grass or raking their leaves. It can also be picking them up for church. These are but three of hundreds of ways we can be kind and useful to one another. How may you be kind today to a fellow believer in Christ?
Soli deo Gloria!