God's Exquisite Garden
The definition of kindness is a mild, gentle state of mind. It also is a good or benevolent quality or good behavior. Also in the meaning are being considerate, helpful, loving and/or affectionate.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 2 Timothy 2:24
This quotation says so much -"I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again." William Penn
Beethoven wrote the song “ Moonlight Sonata”, a lovely piece. He wanted to give something to a blind girl whom he met. She was unable to see the beauty around her. The white clouds, the trees and the colorful flowers were among the many beautiful sights she was not able to view. Beethoven sat down and put his genius to work. She could hear the wondrous beauty in his composition. This valuable sound has been shared with countless people, all because of Beethoven's selfless act of kindness.
I worked at a school where we gave out rewards for Random Acts of Kindness. These acts could be in the form of letting someone else in front of you in the cafeteria line,letting a classmate borrow a pen/pencil, or using polite remarks. It surprised me at how some of the students wanted to be kind, they saw the benefits derived from kindness. It is a lesson for any age to learn.
When we show undeserved kindness we are imitating God's character. Meeting others' specific needs is easy to do with others who love us, those we trust, but when the people plan to hurt us or dislike us, the task becomes harder . We still need to be considerate of their needs.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Romans 12:14
When we are genuinely kind, this is our reaction to the love God has for us.
And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. Acts 3:16
But, when we are genuinely kind, we will not display a pretentious kindness. A heartfelt kindness requires time , money and a personal involvement. It takes a team effort to convey love to a community. No one person can do it alone. We need to look for those who are believers who are searching for those who need kindness shown. A characteristic of God's people is kindness.
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
We are to imitate Christ. As we do so, we will imitate his characteristics. The word Christian means Christ like, if we are Christ-like we will follow His example.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
A Biblical example of kindness being shown is in the story of the marriage between Ruth and Boaz
Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!" And Naomi said to her, "This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives. "
Then he (Boaz) said, "Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich.
We also have the example of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis 50:19-21
Kindness can be displayed through thoughtful deeds performed on the behalf of someone else.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother' . Zechariah 7:9
Discussion and study questions:
What Biblical examples do we have on kindness?
Who are we to imitate?
When we show undeserved kindness , whose character are we imitating and why?
What should be our motivation when we display kindness?
Copyright 2008 Linda Lawrence
Lessons in this Series
||Kindness: Reaching Out to Others
By Phyllis Le Peau / Zondervan
The story of the Good Samaritan is reenacted every day. Whether it's a family on the side of the road with car trouble, a homeless person sleeping over an outdoor heating vent, or a panhandler asking for spare change, we either pass by or reach out in kindness. This Fruit of the Spirit Bible study will inspire kindness toward others by revealing God's kindness to you. The eight-volume Fruit of the Spirit Bible study series not only helps you discover what the Bible says about the vital traits that the Holy Spirit produces in believers, but also moves you beyond reflection and discussion to application. Designed for use in small groups or personal devotions, the interactive format will help you grow in your ability to reflect the character of Jesus.
Ruth in Boaz's Field (1828),Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld,
National Gallery, London