KINDNESS … February 16, 2020
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, KINDNESS, humility, meekness, and patience. Colossians 3:12 ESV
Definition of kind-ness …. The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
We live in a day when kindness is needed more than ever before. It seems to me that people in general are less kind than I remember in days gone by. Please do not misunderstand me; I still experience kind people, but it seems to me the true kindness that I have experienced, come from those who intentionally live …… choosing to be kind. We hear and have been challenged with slogans such as: do random acts of kindness, pay it forward, smile at the people crossing your path today, etc. These slogans are good to practice, but let me challenge you and myself to make kindness and lifestyle that we live, and not just practice from time to time. Don’t let the circumstances of your day determine your kindness toward others. If you are having a day that has dished out lemons…. don’t let those lemons make you sour….add sugar and serve lemonade to refresh these around you. How do you add sugar? Focus as a Christian on who God is in your life and that blessing will be sugar enough. Kindness, no matter who gives or shows it, will affect those lives that encounter it. The individual who makes kindness a lifestyle will keep showing it even when those around them may not reciprocate. Your acts of kindness should be the choice you are making on purpose toward everyone you meet. Be the one who does not depend upon others to make you kind; be the one you would want to encounter, by showing kindness, and hopefully perpetuating kindness in their life toward others. We could describe situations in which we have encountered kindness, but in order to give TRUE KINDNESS we should study the master of kindness….. Jesus.
Jesus Taught Kindness:
Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, FOR HE IS KIND to the ungrateful and the evil. Luke 6:35 ESV
We can be most like who we are supposed to be as Christians when we practice the teaching of Jesus. Note in the verse above who God was kind to… “the ungrateful and the evil.” It is easy to be kind to those who are kind to you, but being kind to someone who does not deserve it is done only because you have made the choice to live intentionally in being kind. One of the motivations of living this way should be to bring glory and honor to God. If this teaching is hard as a Christian, I encourage you to pray Psalm 86:11-12 ESV….. TEACH ME YOUR WAY, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I WILL GLORIFY YOUR NAME FOREVER. Embrace the teaching of Jesus concerning kindness, that you may make a difference in the world…… because of who Jesus is in your life—Savior and Lord.
Jesus was kind to those to whom the religious were not. In fact he was accused by the religious of being a “friend of sinners.” (Matthew 11:19 & Luke 7:34) Now tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them. Luke 15:1-2 ESV Jesus was kind to….. The woman who washed his feet with tears and dried them with her hair. (Luke 7:36-50) ….. Matthew and the tax collectors, who were despised in those days. (Matthew 9:9-13) ….. The woman caught in the act of adultery. (John 8:3-11) To Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector. (Luke 19:1-10) Jesus, when befriending sinners, did not do so to embrace their lifestyle but to redeem them from the lifestyle of sin. Matthew became a disciple…. To the women Jesus said, “your sins are forgiven” Luke 7:48 ESV & “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” John 8:11 ESV To Zacchaeus’ actions of repentance he said, “Today salvation has come to this house.” Luke 19:9 ESV Jesus, in acts of kindness toward those who were sinners, made the difference in their lives. I believe one reason people followed Jesus and sought him out was because of the kindness he showed towards people. In this we can see how Jesus brought glory to his Father….. may we follow his example, that we too may be sought out, not to forgive people of sin but to show them, through kindness, the one who does.
Examples Of Kindness By Those Who Followed Jesus:
The Philippian jail guard was converted by the kindness Paul showed. When Paul had the opportunity to run after an earthquake opened all the prison doors…. he didn’t. The result… the Philippian jailor asked, “What must I do to be saved?” Acts 16:30b ESV The reason? The jailor would have suffered the fate of the prisoners that escaped, thus he drew his sword to kill himself rather than suffer such a punishment. I believe it was in kindness that Paul cried out to him… “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” Acts 16:28b ESV What else could you call it?
Stephen, when being stoned, cried out, “Lord do not hold this sin against them.” Acts 7:60 ESV In verse 59 they laid their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul who was later converted on the road to Damascus. I wonder how many times the words of Stephen echoed in Paul’s mind after that day? How it might have affected how he treated others, and perhaps why Paul said, “Do not harm yourself” to the guard that day. Paul was showing kindness by the example of Stephen’s words, and he was showing kindness by not holding against the guard any ill treatment.
It is easy to be kind to those who are kind to you but no so much to someone who isn’t. Make it a point to be kind to someone who may treat you poorly. Don’t respond to them with what they may deserve, but rather display grace and kindness. In doing so, you may cause them to desire what you should be displaying…. the evidence of Jesus in your life. Be salt and light, that you may introduce them to Jesus….. the one who has shown and given kindness to you.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David