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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 to 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 started a new job in a new industry about a few months ago. And I’ll be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. The work I was doing had a quick deadline and offered multiple ways for me to screw it up. Luckily for me the team I’m on has people who were willing to teach and help me. Because of that the project I’m working on is tracking to schedule.
There’s one particular man on this team that I am drawn to. His name pops up on my phone or or shows in my inbox and I smile. He walks in the room and I light right up. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening to me.
Was I crushing on him? I hoped not. Work crushes are generally a terrible idea.
Then I realized something as I was describing him to my roommate….He’s kind. And I am drawn to his kindness.
Don’t misunderstand me- he’s not a “nice guy” or a “good guy” or anything you’d say to describe someone who bends over backwards to make people like them. He’s not one of those no boundaries so they get walked all over “nice guys.” He’s a man’s man. He’s hard working. He does whatever it takes to get things done on time and on schedule, which I respect and appreciate. But unlike a lot of people I’ve worked with in my life, he does it with kindness.
And I’m drawn to his kindness.
That’s when about 1000 light bulbs suddenly and simultaneously flashed in my head.
Kindness is powerful. What?
Immediately Jeremiah 31:3 lit up in my brain…”The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” NKJV
Kindness is a choice. It comes from a position of strength and proper boundaries. It isn’t wishy washy. God is kind. He’s not nice. Nice has no boundaries. God loves liberally and unconditionally, but he does not play games. His love. His kindness. All choice. He is not out there in desperation trying to make you like Him. He’s like…”Hey. I love you. I want a relationship with you. I’ve allowed My Son to be sacrificed for your shortcomings, failures, and mistakes, so there wouldn’t be anything to prevent you from coming to Me with boldness. Ball is in your court, kid. I’ll be here.”
God’s kindness takes us by the hand and says, “Get out of that sin. You’re hurting yourself and others.”
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” Romans 2:4 NLT
Thinking about this lead me to today’s Musical Monday song…You are Good…because of the lyric “Your kindness leads me to repentance.” The song’s been around a while but it’s a good one. So I’m sharing it today. Just sit and stew in the goodness and kindness of God on this Monday. It’s Monday, so you’ll probably need to soak and stew just a little bit longer than usual.
Point to ponder while you wander…Whilst you stew and soak…here are a few verses about the kindness of our God to meditate on. Hopefully it will draw you to God this Monday…and inspire you to be kind to others.
“Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead. Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.” Joel 2:13 NLT
“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7 NLT