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Understanding Kindness

 Kindness is an important part of our Christian walk and our life. As a result, we can’t take it lightly or dismiss its importance and to best do that, we need to fully understand what Scripture says about it.

We can see examples of kindness in several Scriptures.

Acts 28:2 records the extraordinary kindness of the natives of Malta toward the Apostle Paul and the crew after their ship was wrecked in the Mediterranean Sea.

Nehemiah 9:17 shows God’s kindness. As Nehemiah recounts Israel’s history he also points to the abundance of His kindness.

Not only is God’s kindness abundant and great, Scripture tells us that it is:

  • Everlasting (Isaiah 54:8)
  • Shall not depart (Isaiah 54:10)
  • Manifested and displayed (Psalm 31:21)
  • Through Christ (Ephesians 2:7)
  • Results in salvation (Titus 3:4–7)

Lastly, kindness, as recorded by the apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22 is a fruit of the Spirit. I love what J. I. Packer wrote about kindness in this verse:

Kindness is a habit that softens the atmosphere. It is an outgoing of neighbor-love that becomes instinctive, and is often unnoticed even by the person who practices it; yet voices and actions and even thoughts surrounding acts of kindness impart this softening toward others as if it were a benevolent virus, a happy infection that eases everything for everyone. The bewildered ‘sheep’ of Matthew 25:31–40 could hardly remember when they visited prison, fed the hungry, welcomed a stranger, and they had no idea that Christ valued these acts of kindness so much that He considered them as done to himself. Kindness is like that. It is a selfless form of thinking that sees a need and meets it, almost by reflex, with no thought of reward. Like the other fruit of the Spirit, kindness comes by receiving and then imitating the kindness of God, as the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, ‘Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32.’[1]

Kindness is at the very essence of who God is. Fully understanding kindness is crucial to how He wants us to live and serve others regardless of who they are, what they represent, how they look or where they were born.

[1] J. I. Packer with Carolyn Nystrom, Guard Us: Divine Leading in Life’s Decisions, (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2008), 70

One response to “Understanding Kindness”

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