The love that saves us makes us kind.
Want a measure of your closeness to Jesus? How kind do you feel toward the person to whom you feel the least kind? Kindness helps us get past the rough spots. Those places where we disagree. Kindness helps us deal respectfully toward those by whom we’ve been disrespected. Christian kindness encourages us to look for ways to be kind, even to those who are not.
There are few joys greater than laughing with a former enemy. And here’s a key mandate for the Christian on God’s errand: The kingdom advances among friends. When I was in high school (back before the invention of the calendar), I spent a summer selling Christian books to help pay for my schooling. First day out, the man who was assigned to help me learn to sell taught me something I’ve never forgotten. He said, “If you are trying to sell someone something it helps if they like you a little.”
Kind means unselfish. Kind means wishing the best for the person you’re with. And not just so you can sell them a book, but because their happiness is important to you. Kind means holding the door for others to go first. Kind means not needing to win the argument. Kind means expressing feelings of warm friendship, even to a stranger. Kind means being able to disagree agreeably. Kind means being able to smile with your eyes even when you’re wearing the dreaded mask. We tend to get what we give; including kindness. Being kind is a sign of strength. Being kind often includes treating someone more kindly than they deserve.
As I read over the paragraph above I discover that being kind isn’t a feeling as much as it is an action. Like love, being kind is something you do. And I like this MSG paraphrase of Prov 11:17: “When you are kind to others, you help yourself…” How does that work? Because what we do moves us toward what we will become. So if we are hurt by someone else’s actions or rudeness, we can react and respond in kind, or we can take the high road and pray that God will help them find the reason for their pain that makes them unkind. And as a friend of Jesus I know He wants me to help others discover the joy – and the power – of following Him.
And here’s an insight I have discovered from my own journey: Kindness is a trait that is a gift from God. Therefore, the more time I spend with Him the more of His kindness He can implant in me. It’s not just gritting my teeth and vowing to be nicer, it’s receiving the gracious gift of kindness He has lavished on me and learning to share it with everyone.
By Don Jacobsen