Our world is full of people who show selfish behaviour. They believe in I , Me, Myself and always put themselves first. They don’t mind being rude to others to get their way. When people are standing in line , they cut into the line. They believe in demoralizing and insulting those around them, They don’t open doors for old ladies and people with groceries, they laugh at others’ misfortunes and they try to show their superiority by dragging others down.
Yet the world is also full of very different people. There are also many people who let others go ahead of them in line, compliment those around them, hurry to open doors for people, sympathize with others’ misfortune and show their humility and willingness to serve others.
It’s easy to pick out the people who are showing kindness!
Unfortunately, people who base their thinking on a “survival of the fittest” mentality do not see the rationale for true kindness. These people are also hypocrites. They like to receive kindness but often don’t really see the benefit of being kind in return.
The interesting question is What does God say about kindness and what do the scriptures say about kindness?
Kindness is a basic emotion that flows from the spirit of God himself. The basis of kindness is love and the belief that we are all one under God. Since we are all one family it is natural to help each other and look upon each other with love kindness and affection. This is the basis of being kind to one another.
Kindness is listed as a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22. According to Bible, the Greek word translated kindness here is “the divine kindness out of which God acts toward humankind. It is what the means when it declares that ‘God is good,’ as it so frequently does. Christians should show kindness by behaving toward others as God has behaved toward them.” Basically it means “doing thoughtful deeds to others.”
Proverbs 20:28 describes qualities God wants in a leader: “Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by loving-kindness he upholds his throne” (emphasis added throughout).
Throughout the Bible, two other qualities are often associated with kindness: love and mercy. Peter wrote of adding love to “brotherly kindness” (2 Peter 1:7), while Paul wrote about putting on “tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering” (Colossians 3:13).
What is kindness? It is based on the mind-set described in Philippians 2:3-4: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Kindness is humbly giving of ourselves in love and mercy to others who may not be able to give anything back, who sometimes don’t deserve it, and who frequently don’t thank us for it. Basically kindness means a way of thinking that leads to doing thoughtful deeds for others without expecting a reward.
Why does God want us to demonstrate kindness?
The first section of Proverbs 19:22 states, “What is desired in a man is kindness.” Why? Why would God consider this trait so important?
Psalm 25:6 makes an interesting point about the origin of kindness: “Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your loving-kindnesses, for they are from of old.”
God created the world as well as humanity, and He graciously allows us to live here. He also gives us free choice to live as we please, though He deeply wants us to choose His way of life, knowing that it is the only way that will bring true happiness.
What great kindness!
God wants us to become like Him. Though God’s tender mercies and loving-kindnesses are often taken for granted, His servants recognize His hand. The same will be true of us if we follow His example and are merciful and kind as He is. Biblical history shows that God’s mercy and kindness was many times shown through people He inspired. God raised up deliverers and sent prophets who tried to help the people.
Ephesians 4:32 states: “And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Verse 31 reveals the implied opposite: “Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking.” These are clearly traits God does not want in His chosen people!
Why does God want us to demonstrate kindness? We are tools to extend God’s loving-kindness and mercy to the world. We are to reflect the light and example of His compassion, mercy and kindness. We are to become like Him so we can be in His family forever!
Similar to the love of God, the kindness of God is an idea treated pretty cheaply and taken for granted in our society. And I think that’s because the picture of reality that most of us have been painted (or that we’ve painted ourselves) when it comes to our relationship to God is quite disproportionate. Man feels that he is the centre of the universe and God is there to serve him and make him happy. Man is set forth as the central character of the universe and God is hidden off in the corner like some sort of celestial butler, anxiously awaiting every ring of man’s beckoning bell.
But our picture is wrong. Oh, so wrong.
Let me be clear, God is love and God is kind. The Lord cares for us deeply and yearns to bless us but the problem is that we don’t reciprocate this love. We are selfish and all we can see is our petty self and all the things that are relevant to that petty self. We the children have been sent forth by God into this creation that he himself created and we came greedily to indulge and enjoy in this creation. God intended it that way and that is why he created this world, but he never anticipated that in that enjoyment and in that indulgence, his children would completely forget their relationship with their own father and they would forget the address of their true home. It would be no exaggeration to say that God was taken aback by this selfish and petty behaviour and he must feel great sorrow when he observes this selfish behaviour of his children. But what can he do? He stands for love, truth and joy and if we, his children constantly live in untruth, negative emotions and in sin then how can we ever be close to our father? The truth is that God does not discard us or punish us. Our own acts do that.
Instead God waits for us to realize the truth of our nature and existence and he continually sends examples of love, mercy and kindness so that we may understand that there is another way to live. Jesus Christ was one such example. Jesus tried to show the world that there was no need to reply to anger and hatred and fear with similar emotions but that there was great power in forgiveness.
Since the outset of human history when our first father sunk his teeth into the fruit of death, we have not only rebelled against God but have made a massive showing of that rebellion. All the days of our lives we’ve gleefully paraded about in our sins before the eyes of our Lord and Creator. Like stingy children we’ve held tightly to our iniquity and scowled at the One who lovingly tries to show us something better – namely, himself. With petty fearful hearts we’ve fled from divine goodness and mercy and into the arms of our prides, indulgences and lusts.
The glory of the scriptures isn’t that God is kind to us because he is a robotic nice-guy that turns a trivial, blind eye to our sins. The glory of the scriptures is that God is kind to us because he chooses to be despite our unworthiness. The radiance of God’s goodness toward us shines most brightly when we envision it against the backdrop of our utter unworthiness of even a drop of his kindness.
As Bible, Romans 2:4 tells us, it is the kindness of God that leads men to repentance. Though the fear of God is a necessary and healthy thing to possess, it is not what leads men to true, saving repentance. It is the kindness of God that leads men to repentance .