Devotional: April 30, 2020
"Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor."
Proverbs 21: 21
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant."
First Corinthians 13: 4
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
Ephesians 4: 32
I recently came across an intriguing extended thought. It read “Some people are not staying at home, because they are out looking for a job. Be Kind. Others are afraid of contracting the virus, so they are staying home. Be Kind. Still others are frustrated at the restrictions imposed on doing things they enjoy. Be Kind.” And on and on it went, listing many of the different behaviors which people choose daily. Yet is always ended with the same statement: Be Kind.”
When we are tempted to be judgmental, it might be better for us to ask if kindness and empathy could be what the person needs. Like many others, I have to confess that this is not always easy. Sometimes, we might need to just bite our tongues. But the truth is that we seldom know the whole story of what is going on with someone. Our best course of action should be to give them the benefit of the doubt, and to “Be Kind”.
The essence of kindness is to treat a person thoughtfully, with respect, maybe even doing a good deed for them. This is true even if they do not seem to deserve it. As you can see, woven in there is the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Pastor Steve Witmer believes that kindness is much more than just smiling and being polite. He defines biblical kindness this way: “It’s a supernaturally generous orientation of our hearts toward other people, even when they don’t deserve it and don’t love us in return.”
Being kind when others are not is a distinguishing mark for Christians. Their kindness can made them stand out, in a good way. Kindness is often our greatest Christian witness.
The importance of kindness was even noted by novelist Henry James, who said, “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind.” This quote has also been attributed to Mother Theresa.
May our lives always exhibit kindness.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Lord, help us to realize the need to be kind to others, not only for them, but also for ourselves. Forgive us when we hesitate to demonstrate the patience that kindness requires. Help us to aspire to represent You with not only our words, but with our actions. Thank you for Your amazing kindness You show to us daily, and by the ultimate gift of kindness, Your Son Jesus Christ. We pray this prayer in His name. Amen