Have you seen any acts of kindness lately? It seems as if that quality is sorely missing in our society today. You step in front of someone in line accidentally and you get an earful. You speak softly to someone about an issue today, and the response is anything but soft. You happen to slip or fall, and no one helps you up. Why is this? What is happening out there? How are we to carry ourselves in this world when we engage with it? What does the bible say about kindness, and are there any examples of it, or any modeling of it for us to follow? There are some great words said about kindness in the bible.
Kindness would show itself in acts of sympathy, in acts of helpfulness, having a forbearing attitude toward someone, a giving of pleasure or relief to someone. Kindness refers to providing that which one needs. The basic thought is goodness. One of my favorite verses on this, is Rom.2:4, "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" Our eternal life depends on the kindness of God, not our goodness. We are alive today and not immediately thrown into hell because of God's kindness. His kindness leads us to repentance by enduring months, years, decades, of our stubbornness, stiff-necked, resistant attitude from turning away from sin and turning toward God.
Paul states there are the riches of His kindness meaning He is just not a little kind, but has great resources, an abundance, of kindness to pour out on us. He has given us the great gift of the Spirit of truth as a pledge of our eternal inheritance (Eph.1:14), and one of the fruits that the Spirit brings to us is kindness. (Gal.5:22) Every Christian should have this fruit, we have the ability to be kind, it is in our spiritual DNA. It reflects who God is, and what He is like. It is one of His many beautiful attributes, it should be much so in our character, having been made in His image and regenerated and renewed by His Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5) We are exhorted in Eph.4:31-32, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice." That is how we were in the flesh, but now we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, and verse 32 thus states, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ Jesus also has forgiven you." The great commentator Alexander MacLaren states, "Kindness not only requires the negative virtue of not retaliating but express the Christian attitude towards all of meeting them, whatever their attitude, with good."
And lastly, Prov.3:3-4, a dandy memory verse to remind us of God's desire of commanding us to be kind. Should we not be delighting in things like being kind? It starts with a negative action, followed by two positive actions, and the reason why we should do it, and the results it will produce. "Do not let kindness and truth leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man." Who would not want to be kind to gain results of finding a good reputation in God's and man's eyes? Bringing glory to God and blessing to ourselves by allowing the word of God to abide in us. It doesn't get any better than that! We as Christians are different and thus can make a difference! Excel still more at being kind!
Elder Randy Slak