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When defining love, patience was listed first, then kindness. Kindness isn’t merely being nice, because nice has fear attached. Fear of what people think, fear of upsetting someone, or fear of not being accepted. And there’s no fear in love.
Kindness is also a fruit of the Spirit. So we believers should be known for our kindness. So what does kind mean?
Dictionary defines it as having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature.
In I Corinthians 13…it’s a verb meaning to show one’s self useful, act benevolently.
In Galatians 5…it’s a noun meaning gentleness, excellence in character or demeanor.
In Matthew 26…it’s shown as good deed, worthy act, honest endeavor.
I personally define kindness as: a conscious decision to act towards another person in a way than reflects your belief that person has value.
Kindness is not weakness. It comes from a position of strength with no expectation of anything in return. Choosing to honor someone’s value.
In Matthew 26, Jesus is at dinner, when a woman arrives with a jar of oil. Beginning with verse 6 (TPT):
“Then Jesus went to Bethany, to the home of Simon, a man Jesus had healed of leprosy. A woman came into the house, holding an alabaster flask filled with fragrant and expensive oil. She walked right up to Jesus, and in a lavish gesture of devotion, she poured out the costly oil, and it cascaded over his head as he was at the table.
When the disciples saw this, they were offended. ‘What a total waste!’ they grumbled.’We could have sold it for a great deal of money and given it to the poor.’
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Why are you critical of this woman? She has done a beautiful act of kindness for me. You will always have someone poor whom you can help, but you will not always have me. When she poured the fragrant oil over me, she was preparing my body for burial. I promise you that as this wonderful gospel spreads all over the world, the story of her lavish devotion to me will also be mentioned in memory of her.’”
The disciples heaped shame on this woman. They saw her as wasteful. Jesus saw her heart, her kindness. She sacrificed all she had in the world, financially, to honor Him.
Jesus called them out for this bullying.
He respected her boldness and her choice to sacrifice all she had to honor Him, calling it a kindness. To this day, 2000 years later, her act of kindness is still remembered.
Point to ponder while you wander…. Be deliberate in your kindness in the lives of those in your world. Look for ways th be kind.
A sincere compliment or a word of encouragement may change their perspective and direction.
Acknowledging someone’s efforts with a thank you, shows someone they are seen and valued.
Kindness is a choice. It comes from a position of strength with no expectation of anything in return. The effect of your kindness, like this woman’s, may ripple for thousands of years.
I’ve been struggling with emotional exhaustion and my fuse is the shortest it’s been since before I first started the healing process with Jesus 12ish years ago.
I don’t like it when I’m short tempered and negative. I hate it when I start bashing anyone and everyone who annoys me in any capacity. So I need this reminder today….
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT
Point to ponder while you wander…it is so easy to take out our hurt, frustration, and fear on other people, especially our immediate family or those we live with. But there’s a better way.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
I need this rest today, and I pray you and I both find it.
How many needless offenses, problems & fights would we save ourselves if we truly listened, instead of determining our response while the other person is still talking? Then we ask genuinely, “This is what I am hearing, is that what you meant?” Then we take a minute to respond in love!
“Understand this my dear brothers and sisters; You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, & slow to get angry.” James 1:19
If we choose to live this way, we will have less open mouth insert foot and better relationships.
I like this quote by Publilius Syrus, “You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force.” This is so true! People respond to kindness. A kind word or deed can touch even the hardest hearts, and open them up. Kindness makes people feel special and valued. Proverbs 15:1 (CEV) even says kindness calms people down, “A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up.”
In I Corinthians 13:4 it says, “Love is kind.” The root word for kind here actually means mild and pleasant as opposed to harsh, hard, sharp and bitter. It can also mean kind and benevolent.
God is pleasant and full of joy. He created humor. He created laughter. He wants us to enjoy our lives! He created diversity. He created beauty. He is a good God.
But I have to be honest, that’s not how I saw Him. I saw Him as harsh and mean. Just waiting for me to mess up so that He could take me out. I thought God didn’t like me and was just looking for a reason to get rid of me. Those were lies! The truth was that loved me. The truth is that God is kind, I just couldn’t see it. I believed the lies.
Jeremiah 31:3 says that His loving-kindness is what draws people to Him, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you.” It’s interesting to me that our being drawn to God and our repentance are both related to God’s kindness. It’s like the quote says, kindness can do what commands and force can never do.
Joel 2:12-13 tells us that we should turn to God knowing that he’s kind, gracious and merciful. We should not be afraid to go approach him, because of his great kindness! ““Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.”
It doesn’t say you better repent because God’s mad and going to take you out! It doesn’t say God’s looking for someone to torture and torment! It says God wants you to come to Him and choose to be in a relationship with Him. He wants to bless you! It says turn to Him genuinely, and He will receive you because God is of great kindness.
Isaiah 54:8 tells us that even if God is angry, He’s still full of mercy and kindness, ““With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” Says the Lord, your Redeemer.” God does get angry. But it says “for a moment.” And even when He’s angry, He still does not change. He was and is and always will be love. And that means God is kind.
I’ll leave you with a song that I really love It’s called “You are Good” and is by Kari Jobe and Gateway Worship: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIcMDeEzA24
If you are unable to access youtube, here are some of the lyrics- “Your kindness leads me to repentance. Your goodness draws me to Your side. Your mercy calls me to be like You. Your favor is my delight. Every day I’ll awaken my praise and pour out a song from my heart.” -From “You are Good” by Kari Jobe