Kindness (Gentleness)

*KIND – sympathetic, friendly, gentle, tender-hearted, generous, etc.

Kindness begins with allowing God’s Spirit to work in and through us. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness…” Galatians 5:22

Kindness is active. It’s doing. Kindness starts at home, with those closest to you, and it reaches out to the people who treat us wrongfully.

God is our example of kindness. No matter how foolish and sinful God’s people are, He still shows kindness. Mercy and kindness are often used together when speaking of God’s kindness.

Psalm 117:2 “For His merciful kindness is great toward us….”

Nehemiah 9:17 “…But You are God, Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness….”

God’s kindness is demonstrated through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:7). The apostle Peter relates kindness to godliness and love (2 Peter 1:5-7). Christians should be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving (Ephesians 4:32). The woman described in Proverbs 31 uses wise and kind words (v.26).

If I’m kind to an enemy, praying for them, reaching out to them in a time of need, what might happen? I may gain a friend, or I may have the opportunity to lead them to the Lord. No matter the outcome, it’s the right thing to do. (Matthew 5:44) I’ve had to ask forgiveness for unkind words, condemning or thoughtlessly spoken, that wounded someone I love, or that hurt my testimony for Christ.

Kindness is commended throughout God’s Word. Dorcas, or Tabitha, in Acts 9:36-42, is known for her kindness and generosity to needy women. Cornelius, a Gentile, in Acts 10:1,2, is commended for his kindness to the Jewish poor. Throughout the gospels, Jesus showed kindness in His acts of healing, raising the dead, and supplying food to the hungry masses. The Shunamite woman in 2 Kings 4:8-10 had a private room built for the prophet Elisha so he would have a comfortable place to stay when he passed through.

My family experienced the kindness of other members of God’s family in 1984, when my husband had cancer. Food, money, babysitting, phone calls, and many, many prayers came to our aid.

Kindness is love in action. It’s willingness to forgive when we have been wronged. It’s showing compassion to the person who is experiencing trial or trouble and helping someone in need. It’s praying for our enemies even when they are hateful toward us. It’s being patient with those who are learning or needing correction. It’s reaching out in love the way Christ did, our Christlikeness demonstrated in the way we treat others.

*Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English, Third College Edition, New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc. 1991.

Scripture from NKJV; Pictures thanks to Pixabay