Learning from Opposites

We can learn even more about kindness when we look at its opposites. For instance one of the opposites of showing kindness is arguing. Certain behaviors signal to us that we are not walking by the Spirit or prac­ticing God’s kindness, and one of those flashing red lights is arguing. In 2 Timothy 2:24, Paul says that the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all. Therefore, when you or I find ourselves striving or quarreling, arguing or quibbling, we can be sure that this behavior “is not that which comes down from above” (James 3:15), but is instead coming from our own flesh.

Galatians 5:20 even lists strife, disputing, and dissension among the evil deeds of the flesh.

Imagine the home… the office… or the church without any arguing! And imagine the same energy that contention, strife, and arguing consume channeled toward kindness instead. Exactly what would you and I have to do to help make that happen? Here’s a short list.

  • Love others more than ourselves.
  • Care for the comfort and welfare of others more than our own.
  • Consider others more important than ourselves (Philippians 2:3).
  • Forego quarreling.

Matthew 11:28-30 helps us gain even greater insight into kindness from another pair of opposites. Speaking words of comfort to His followers, Jesus issues a gentle invitation: “Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy [that is, kind], and My load is light.”

It’s helpful for us to under­stand that a yoke was a wooden frame placed upon a person’s shoulders that was meant to make his load easier to carry. However, if the load was unequally distributed or simply too heavy, that yoke would begin to chafe and rub and wear the person down. Here Jesus is contrasting His yoke and the burden He asks His followers to bear with the yoke of trying to keep all of the rules laid upon the Jews by Israel’s teachers, and He says that His yoke is “easy”— which is the same word as “kind.” In fact, one scholar translates the verse “My yoke is kindly.”

I have to admit that the vividness of this mental image caused me to ask some hard questions about my relation­ships with others—and maybe you would like to do the same. For instance, what is it like to be yoked with me at home, on a committee, in a project, or in a ministry? Am I an asset to those around me, a person who doesn’t chafe? Am I easy to be with and kind, a person who makes it easier for other people to bear their burdens?

Or am I an additional burden which others must bear, causing their yoke to chafe and rub, making it more difficult for them to pull their weight because they are yoked to a harsh, quar­relsome, wearisome woman? Do my manner and lack of kindness chafe, rub, and wear others down? Kindness means making life easier for others—not harder—just as Jesus makes your life and mine easier.

A Prayer to Pray:

Lord, I want to live like one who is truly transformed. I want to be a joy, not a burden, to those I am yoked to. I want to be a woman who shines with kindness, authenticity, integrity, and a deep understanding of Your truth.

For more encouragement for a woman’s soul, read A Woman’s High Calling, where you will find God’s 10 most important priorities for women – priorities that reveal the character qualities that He values most.

Read Learning from Opposites on Elizabeth & Jim George.


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.

Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.


Also in From Our Hearts

A Timely Leadership Lesson from Nehemiah
A Timely Leadership Lesson from Nehemiah

by Elizabeth George January 18, 2022

The Old Testament book of Nehemiah recounts, in thrilling detail, a monumental time in Israel’s history led by an unlikely exile. I encourage you to read it for yourself to discern in full the qualities of a great leader — patience, confidence, and trust in God alone. 

Read More
Making Your Time Count by Jim and Elizabeth George
Making Your Time Count

by Elizabeth George January 11, 2022

Time is redeemed when you make the most of your life by fulfilling God’s purposes. As you line up your life and seize every opportunity for useful service, your life takes on an efficient quality. 

Read More
Dedicate Yourself to the Long-Distance Race by Jim and Elizabeth George
Dedicate Yourself to the Long-Distance Race

by Elizabeth George January 04, 2022

The Christian life and spiritual growth are not sprints. They are long-distance races that require lifelong perseverance. You grow in spiritual maturity as you run the race moment by moment, day after day, and year after year. 

Read More