Opening the door for someone, giving your seat to a stranger, and smiling and saying good morning to strangers on your morning walk are all acts of kindness. When you choose to follow Jesus, he helps us grow the fruit of kindness he implanted in us at salvation. The healthiest relationship we can ever have is with our Savior, Jesus Christ.
As we grow in our healthy relationship with Jesus, we will radiate kindness from his overflowing kindness in us. Kindness is not naturally in our old, sinful self. It must be nurtured and grown in our imperfect human condition.
Kindness takes us away from focusing on ourselves. It directs us to focus on Christ’s kindness to us and to share it with others. To make sure we are all working from the same definition of kindness, Websters defines kindness as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
2 World Views on Kindness
Kindness Equals Weakness
When you look at “powerful” people in the headlines, most of the news comes from their unkind words or behaviors. People being consistently kind to others is not what the world promotes. The world endorses and rewards people with attention when they take advantage of people to get ahead. One of the top methods we see is being mean, or in other words, bullying others. Bullying is defined: to harm, intimidate, or coerce. Bullying is excused by saying the victim is too touchy or weak to take a joke.
The world doesn’t promote being friendly, generous, and considerate. The world is focused on the ego. We are taught to be number one and to get what “I” want at any cost. All of these realities are the essences of pride introduced by our enemy, the devil. His pride cost him his relationship with God and eternal damnation. He was cast out of heaven for his sin of pride. (Isa. 14:12-14, NIV)
We know the world’s beliefs and actions are not the same as our Lord, Jesus Christ. “The person without the Spirit (salvation through Christ) does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” (1 Cor. 2:14, NIV) However, the disciples of Jesus Christ have no excuse to ever act unkindly.
The compassion and kindness Jesus showed to everyone while he walked on the earth was so powerful that the Jewish religious leaders became determined to kill him. When we choose to follow Christ, we must learn to think, talk, and behave in a flood of kindness. Jesus showed us that being kind releases the love, grace, mercy, and power of our loving Father God to others.
Kindness is Not Essential
All people are not created or considered to be equal in the world’s values. Just look at the amount of discrimination, prejudice, segregation, fighting, and hate in the news and in our communities. The world influences us from an early age that we must fight for what we want or prove that we are good enough to deserve it.
The world often teaches us to take an offensive or aggressive stance in life to get ahead and achieve our goals and dreams. Although there are times we must push through, and we must prove our credibility, we always have a choice to be kind or cruel. Only we can choose our hearts and motives and how we will speak and act.
However, when you choose to follow Jesus, you are called to “love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:44-45, NIV) Jesus is not saying you have to be a doormat or accept abuse. He is telling you that even when others hurt you, you can choose to be kind.
Following Christ’s heart, characteristics, words, and actions are being his disciple. We must look different from the rest of the world because we are God’s children through the saving grace of Jesus. The apostle Paul tells us. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Col. 3:12, NIV) To truly follow Christ, we must choose to be kind.
Practice Makes Perfect
The three principles of kindness are friendliness, generosity, and being considerate. Kindness is also one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit implanted in us when we are saved. It is our responsibility to learn how to grow our seed of kindness with Jesus as we grow in a personal relationship with him every day. Maturing our seed of kindness requires us to practice being friendly, generous, and considerate.
The next time you go anywhere or you are with your friends or loved ones, set your mind that you will be kind. Look for opportunities to open doors, to help people, to wave or smile, to say good morning or good afternoon. When you are at a stop sign, let someone else go before you with a smile, even though it is your turn. Let others see the kindness of Jesus emanating from you.
Christ’s Disciples are Kind
As you mature the fruit of kindness in your mind, heart, and life, your kindness through Christ will naturally overflow into your relationships and make them healthier. The Bible talks about the lovingkindness of our Father, God. It also shows us His kindness through the life of His Son, Jesus.
When Jesus was dying on the cross, he was full of kindness. He made sure his mother was taken care of. And he asked our Father, God, to “forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34, NIV)
The very essence and love of God and Jesus are found in kindness. To have healthy relationships, kindness through Christ must be at the core. It’s time to live in Christ’s seed of kindness inside of you. Let his love, hope, mercy, and grace shine like a beacon as you live in kindness!
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