When you think about kindness what comes to mind? Is it the volunteers that dedicate themselves weekly to feeding the homeless or clothing those in need? Is it the sincere conversation you had with a friend that left you feeling hopeful, supported, and energized? Is it the representative that goes the extra mile to ensure your service and experience are pleasant and pleasurable? Whatever it is, I’m almost certain that when you think of kindness you get feelings of warmth, affection or thoughts of assurance. That’s what kindness does and that’s what makes it a powerful way to experience love and express the love of God towards others.
1. Kindness puts others first
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” Romans 12:10 NIV
To be kind, often times, requires some sort of sacrifice. Whether it be a sacrifice of ones time, abilities, materials etc., kindness is a willingness to set self aside to ensure the benefit of another. “Love cares more for others than for self.” 1Corinthians 13:4 MSG and it bears with others in the good and the bad, in strength and weakness. “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Romans 15:1 ESV. Moreover, kindness does not loan out love with expectancy of return or reimbursement, it gives selflessly with no strings attached. “And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.” Luke 6:34 ESV
2. Kindness does not discriminate
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 NIV
We are, especially as believers and followers of Christ, redeemed ourselves by the loving kindness of God, expected to be kind to all. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12 NIV
We can not pick and choose who we show kindness and compassion to. Whether rich or poor, “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” Matthew 5:42 ESV Whether friends, “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” Romans 15:2 NIV or enemies, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Luke 6:35 NIV. Whether believers “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10 ESV or unbelievers “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44 NIV. And the list goes on and on. Kindness is our duty and should be a part of our character as followers of Christ as it is written according to Colossians 3:12 ESV “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts,kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”
3.Kindness has its benefits
“A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.” Proverbs 11:17 ESV
Being kind to others is not only beneficial to the recipient but also to the giver. Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you do something kind for someone else? That’s what kindness does, it rejuvenates your soul. Our spirit delights and connects with God’s mission, to love a world in need of him, and it opens the door for him to bless us for our goodness towards others. “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will repay him for his deed.” Proverbs 19:17 ESV. We reap what we sow so for example, if we sow mercy unto others we will also receive mercy (Matthew 5:7) and when God gives he always give better and bigger. Thats one of the reasons why I believe the bible tells us in Acts 20:35 that it is of greater blessing to give to others than to receive, because no one out gives God!
1. How do you define kindness? Does it line up with God’s expectation of what it means to be kind?
2.What feelings do you have when you are kind to others? How does it make you feel when others are kind towards you?
3. Do/Have you discriminate(d) when showing kindness towards others? If so why? Does your behavior align with His expectations and commands for your life according to his word? If not, how can you change this?
4. Do you see any fruits of God’s blessings or goodness in your life?