But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
Kindness is an attitude that makes us gracious and considerate and results in our doing what we can to help those in need. Biblical kindness doesn’t wait on needs to be brought to it. Instead, Biblical kindness takes the initiative to respond to the needs of others. A kind person isn’t indifferent to what is going in the lives of the people around them. A kind person isn’t harsh with those that they deal with. A kind person isn’t unconcerned about the needs, hurts and burdens of those around them. A kind person isn’t too busy to help those in need. Kind people aren’t bitter and angry in their attitudes and actions.
There are several things we need to understand about kindness.
Kindness Is A Characteristic Of God
While I doubt that idea is new information, we may not realize the way that kindness affects God. God’s kindness was always active. I don’t know of any Scripture that says “God is kind” and leaves it at that. Instead, God’s kindness was always doing something to benefit others. There were three specific truths about God’s kindness.
God Is Kind To Everyone. “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.” Luke 6:35 (NKJV)
God’s Kindness Is Revealed In Jesus. “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6-7 (NIV)
God’s Kindness Resulted In Our Salvation. “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,” Titus 3:4-6 (NKJV)
Kindness Flows From Love.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;” 1 Corinthians 13:4 (NKJV)
Since love is kind, then a part of the reason I am kind to people is because I love them. It is my love for people that causes me to be concerned about the problems others are having and seeing if there is any way I can help. It is my love for people that motivates me to do what I can to help them when I recognize they have a need. It is my love for people that enables me to look beyond all that I’ve got going on and see what is going on in their life. It is my love for people that restrains me from being harsh and snappy as I interact with people. Our acts of kindness toward others flow from our love for them.
Kindness Is Necessary For Ministry.
“But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,” 2 Corinthians 6:4-6 (NKJV)
Lack Of Kindness Brought God’s Judgment.
“Hear the word of the LORD, O people of Israel! The LORD has brought charges against you, saying: “There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land. You make vows and break them; you kill and steal and commit adultery. There is violence everywhere— one murder after another. That is why your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away. Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea are disappearing.” Hosea 4:1-3 (NLT)
So what can we do to develop kindness in our lives? Let me give you four things that we need to do so we can develop kindness.
Forgive As You’ve Been Forgiven.
I’m sure we all know the importance of forgiving others. One thing we may not realize is that forgiving others is an act of kindness. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV) A part of God’s kindness to us was to forgive us. Now, we are to show this same kindness to others. If we are going to be kind people then we must be willing to forgive just as we have been forgiven.
See Kindness As A Necessity Instead Of An Option.
I think one of the reasons we may not be as kind as we should be is because we don’t see the necessity of being kind. Instead we see it as something that we know we probably should have but aren’t that bothered by the fact that we don’t. If we are going to develop kindness we need to change our thinking.
“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.” Colossians 3:12-13 (NKJV)
It’s important that we recognize from this that we are told we MUST clothe ourselves with kindness. This doesn’t come across as an option.
Make Spiritual Growth A Priority.
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7 (NKJV)
Spiritual growth doesn’t happen automatically. We must put forth the effort to add these things to our faith.