What is kindness? I think most people would define kindness as going out their way to help someone. The dictionary defines kindness as:
1: the quality of being warm-hearted and considerate and humane and sympathetic
2: tendency to be kind and forgiving
3: a kind act
Paul’s definition of the Fruit of The Spirit in Galatians 5:22 lists kindness as the fifth fruit which if you think about it, is a natural progression with the list so far. If we manifest the first four Fruits of the Spirit, (love, joy peace and patience) how can we not help but exhibit kindness?
After all as the dictionary states kindness is being warmhearted and considerate which is a manifestation of love, joy peace and patience.
Our God is a God of kindness. If He weren’t we would not be here right now. We have but to remember where the Fruit of The Spirit comes from and we will see that God who is a God of love, joy, peace and patience is also overwhelmingly kind to His creation when we are anything but kind to Him.
These are only two of the verses in the Bible dedicated to kindness. If you would look up just the word kindness in a Bible concordance you would find 36 passages that use the word kindness. Most of the passages on kindness deal with followers of God showing sympathy or being considerate to others in word, action or deed. There is a great importance placed on the believer being kind to others. The question then is whom should I be kind to? Which others? The Bible has a great illustration of kindness in the parable of the Good Samaritan. I am not going to list it here but if you would like to look it up it can be found in Luke 10:30-37.
It is interesting to note that in the passages right before that parable, Jesus is asked about what a person must do to inherit the Kingdom of God. Jesus then asks the man the question “what does the law say” The mans answer saying, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”‘; and, “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
The man knew in his heart what he had to do but he was without love, and joy and peace and patience for everyone so he asked Jesus the question of “who is my neighbor?” which leads to the parable of the Good Samaritan. So just who are we to be kind to? The answer is according to Jesus is our neighbors and our neighbor is everyone we come in contact with, good, bad or otherwise.
No matter the situation, no matter how we feel about the person we are to shoe kindness. There is no need to worry thought because when we have love, joy, peace and patience, kindness will be in our hearts, kindness to all.
Of the three people in the parable of the Good Samaritan who do you see yourself as, the priest, the Levite or the Good Samaritan? If you answered anything other than the Good Samaritan it is time for you to ask God to change your heart.
Paul knew how important kindness was He was on the receiving end of God’s loving kindness on the road to Damascus. He was a man who many Christians saw as an enemy but God saw him as someone worthy of His love and bestowed on Paul the greatest act of kindness, eternal life. If we have love, joy, peace and patience will we being to see the world as God sees the world a place in need of kindness. Take a good look around your neighborhood and you will see many souls in need of kindness and who knows your act of kindness to your neighbors may be what God will use to bring another one of His children home.