“Kindness gives birth to kindness.”
Author:Sophocles (447 BC)
Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Author: Maya Angelou
Biblical kindness: believers are called to be and to act as Jesus would toward the people within their sphere of influence. steve bowen
Kindness, by definition, is a deliberate act to bring a person near to God.
(Nelson’s Bible Dictionary)
Planed acts of kindness are more than just doing something nice for people. The acts of kindness are intentional acts that demonstrate the grace, generosity and mercy of God toward an individual or toward a community in a practical way.
An encouraging impression of grace is clearly presented by the activity of kindness when the act of kindness is genuinely reflected through our attitudes and through our words.
Jesus our example…
Jesus was the most friendly, open-hearted person on the planet. People wanted to be in his presence. There was something genuinely real that was attractive. I can’t imagine anyone being attracted by a weird, ethereal, blue eyed Jesus.
He was grounded. He was different. He actually actively cared for people. He was a person full of compassion, mercy and grace. He was emotionally moved to action. He cared. When people were hungry, He fed them. When people were sick, he healed them. When people were downcast, he encouraged them.
His plan was to empower his disciples to do the same.
The religious leaders of the day didn’t understand his open-heartedness expressed through his action. Instead of drawing near, they became closed, and hard-hearted focusing upon the law, the traditions of men instead of being caring people extending grace and mercy.
Jesus was invited to parties. He went to dinners with tax collectors. He allowed questionable people to be in his sphere of influence. He didn’t flinch when prostitutes expressed their gratefulness for his forgiveness.
He was kind, and refreshingly different than the other religious leaders of the day, and He acted and spoke as one who had true authority.
Yet, the religious leaders of the day didn’t understand, were blinded to his mission and branded him as ‘a friend of sinners‘, a ‘glutton and a wine drinker‘.
His short list of kindness found in the book of John…
His first miracle, water to wine…
Remember? He was at a party…they ran out of wine, the host was in trouble, what did Jesus do? He served, meeting their need, by giving away the best wine. This first simple, practical, need meeting action is described as how he first ‘revealed his glory.’
Does this mean serving people somehow reveals the very glory of God? Yes.
Feeding the 5,000 X deux…
The people were tired and hungry. He fed them and began to demonstrate, establish and teach His disciples the principles of caring, sharing, and generosity.
He healed all who came to Him…He demonstrated the kindness and love of God by healing all who came to him. He went around ‘doing good’…and…’healing all who were sick or oppressed’
His last act of service before the cross…
He washed the disciple’s feet, leaving an example…encouraging them to serve as He had served…
His last act of service post cross, before his ascension?
Think about it. He had just risen from the dead. He had conquered death and hell, through his death on the cross and his resurrection. He had ensured salvation for all who would believe in him. He had been honored by the Father as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He had received all power and authority.
So, what does he choose to do for his disciples to reflect his love and care for them?
He chooses to cook and feed the disciples a fish breakfast on a beach. Amazing!
A short read of the gospels reveals He continually declared and demonstrated his life mission…
The Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.
Jesus Mark 10:45
We live in a culture where our words alone no longer make an impact. Our culture is shouting, show us. Be the Christ(little c) you represent. If you say you follow him, then be him… in your attitudes, in your words and by your actions.
Kindness as a lifestyle is a first step toward redefining Jesus to your world.
Imagine what it would look like if every believer in your city chose to express His kindness toward the people within their sphere of influence, to intentionally seek to help, to serve, to care, to support others actively for just one week or even one day
Perhaps, the people we love and serve would want to discover for themselves why we have a passion for living. Perhaps our caring attitudes, actions and words would blow past their apathy and indifference.
Perhaps they would want to meet this Jesus who encourages His friends to be Him in action. Perhaps they too would want to join His band of faithful followers and seek to actively and radically change their world.
- “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
- John 20:21 NIV