Kind: a good or benevolent nature or disposition as a person; having, showing, or proceeding from benevolence; indulgent, considerate, or helpful.1
…love is kind… (1 Corinthians 13:4b, NIV)
Jenny was having a rough day. She woke up late, was in a rush to get ready for work, had little to eat for breakfast even though was hungry. The traffic seemed to crawl along, and she hit every red light. As she feared, she was late for work. All morning it felt like she was playing catch up, as she encountered problem after problem when trying to complete her work. When her friends stopped by to see if she wanted to go to lunch with them, she declined, saying she was busy and would just grab something from the vending machine. Thirty minutes later, her friends again stopped by, this time with lunch for Jenny from her favorite sandwich shop. When Jenny tried to pay them, her friends laughed, saying, “Forget it. You look like you could use it.” Jenny’s mood lifted considerably, as she quickly ate and got back to work. That afternoon, the problems that seemed to plague her all morning disappeared, and everything came together smoothy. Her mood was further lifted by a compliment she received later that day on the outfit she was wearing. During her evening reflection, Jenny contemplated her day and her attitude. It is amazing, she thought, the effect kindness can have on a person’s day.
Many of us have had a day (or several!) like Jenny’s, where everything seems to go wrong. But a little bit of kindness in those types of days can make all the difference. For one man, the kindness and determination of four friends, quite literally, changed his life.
17 On one of the days while Jesus was teaching, some proud religious law-keepers and teachers of the Law were sitting by Him. They had come from every town in the countries of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was there to heal them. 18 Some men took a man who was not able to move his body to Jesus. He was carried on a bed. They looked for a way to take the man into the house where Jesus was. 19 But they could not find a way to take him in because of so many people. They made a hole in the roof over where Jesus stood. Then they let the bed with the sick man on it down before Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
He said to the man who could not move his body, “I say to you, get up. Take your bed and go to your home.” 25 At once the sick man got up in front of them. He took his bed and went to his home thanking God. (Luke 5:17-20, 24b-25)
Kindness can be demonstrated in many ways. Jenny’s friends showed kindness by buying her her favorite lunch. The friends of the man who could not walk showed kindness is their determination that their friend receive help, and by their unwavering faith that Jesus could heal their friend. When they saw the crowd, saw how difficult it would be to get their friend to Jesus, they could have given up. They could have walked away. They could have stayed at the edge of the crowd and simply hoped they would get a chance to see Jesus and have their friend healed. But they didn’t wait; they took action. They were determined that their friend would be healed. Their kindness, their friendship, their determination and their faith, changed their friend’s life that day.
Jesus showed kindness in multiple ways throughout His ministry. He showed kindness by spending time with tax collectors, who were reviled during that time. Jesus showed kindness by spending time with outcasts and sinners. Jesus showed kindness by physically touching those He healed. In Matthew 8, Jesus heals a man with leprosy by touching him. Anyone afflicted with leprosy was an outcast, banned from society and their homes. They could not be touched, and were forbidden from having contact with anyone who did not have the disease. Jesus could have simply spoken and healed the man. Instead, Jesus showed kindness. He reached out and touched the man, touched him, healing him of his leprosy. Jesus touched a man who had likely not have been touched in years, perhaps decades!
Have you ever had a stranger offer you a sincere compliment? How did that make you feel? Have you ever had a stranger stop and hold a door for you? Offer to help you carry something? Simply give you a smile? How did those exchanges make you feel? Now flip the script – Have you ever been that stranger? Giving out the sincere compliment? Holding open the door? Offering your help? Extending a smile? If you haven’t, why not?!
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8, NIV)
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4, NIV)
The Apostle John, a disciple of Jesus Christ, reminds us that God is love. God exemplifies all the characteristics of love. Can you find them in the Scriptures? The Apostle Paul was well aware of God’s kindness, and what can happen as a result of that kindness. It is because of God’s love, His kindness that Jesus Christ was sent to this earth to die for our sins.
God is love. All of His actions are a result of His love for us! How has God shown His kindness to you? What about your actions? What do they show? How do you show love through kindness?
Love is patient, love is kind…
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