“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
I don’t know about you, but there has been times when I would spend time with someone who I wasn’t particularly fond of. It bothered me that all she knows how to do is bicker and gripe. She finds fault in just about anything or any one… even when life seems to be going right . It is difficult to be around someone who finds in everything and with everyone.
I hope that I’m not the kind of person that people don’t like to be around. Even though I do have my moments. I would like you to take a moment and think about a time when you have been around a person who goes out of their way to be kind to others. I will do a little comparison on what the difference is when a person is kind and when someone is being downright hateful or demeaning.
These are just a few examples of a nice person:
- Integrity : Someone that has Integrity would be a person who has strong moral principles and values and then living your life. When you have integrity, you adhere to choose to live your life with integrity whether or not other people are watching.
- Respectfulness: When you treat others with dignity, courtesy and in a civil manner, you are treating them with kindness. I believe that all people should be treated with respect.
- Compassion: When you honestly feel sympathy for the suffering of others and you have a desire to do something for them to take away their suffering, that is called compassion.
- Courageousness: Even if a person is fearful, in pain or they have other uncomfortable feelings, you mentally know that you have to step in to help instead of running away. You step up to the plate.
- Generosity: A person who is generous is someone who is willing to offer their time, energy, emotions or other things. They do things for others without the expectation of getting something in return.
- Kindness: When you are showing kindness to others, it is with the intent of being helpful and considerate towards others.Those who show unconditional kindness has a positive disposition.
What does the Bible say about kindness?
As a Christian when I think about what it means to be kind, the first thing or person I think about is Jesus Christ Himself.
Titus 3:4-6: But when the kindness of and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (NIV)
These are just a few examples of a hateful person:
As I consider some traits of a person who is mean or demeaning, I think about some people in my life. which is way to many. Could you imagine how much nicer life would be if we got rid of some if not all of these trait.
- Rudeness – When a person is rude it means that they are offensive, embarrassing and impolite.
- Toxic people are manipulative. The toxic and manipulating person are able to get people to do what they want them to do. They have the mindset that it is all about them. They will do whatever they need to do in order to accomplish their goal.
- Selfishness: Selfishness can somewhat fit into the toxic person who is also manipulated. They have their wheels turning in their little heads as they plot and scheme. They are uncaring and they always have the “Me First” trait. They wouldn’t think of sacrificing anything for anyone and they do expect things in return.
- Conceited – When a person is conceited it means that they have a high opinion of themselves. They are fast to point out how small others are and how great they are.
- Not Responsible: The have no intention of taking responsibility for themselves. They are fast to point out the faults of others, They take no responsibility for their own feelings.
- Unreliable – When a person is unreliable, that means that they can’t be depended on. I have known way to many people who have fallen into this category. After a few times of being burned, I have learned that I can’t rely on them for showing up or doing what they have said they would do. There have been times I was supposed to be somewhere and I never made it.
While there are times that I don’t want to be nice and I am teetering on the I want to hit someone over the head with a hammer kind of thought, I realize that isn’t what I should be doing. I do have a temper and I go off once in a while, I strive to be more like Christ.
There are many areas that I need to work on in my life. There have been people at church who have come up to be and would say how nice I am and how I would never say this or that. I just want to say that I am human and I do make mistakes.
Now I want to take a look at what the Bible says about being kind.
Throughout the Bible we are commanded to be kind (Gal 5:22; Eph 4:32; Col 3:12), even to our enemies (Lk 6:35). I’m willing to bet that the reason for God wanting us to be kind is because He is kind Himself, even when there are people who are ungrateful and aren’t kind at all and may even border on wickedness. (Lk 6:36).
- Galatians 5:22 (NIV) – 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
- Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) – 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
- Colossians 3:12 (NIV) –12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
- Luke 6:35-36 (NIV) – 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
There are many who feel that their salvation depends on their good works and deeds. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but it doesn’t happen like that. We can only be saved because of God’s grace—an expression of God’s kindness.
How can we practice kindness in our own lives?
- One of the ways I try to intentionally focus my life on being kind to others is by examining how I interact with others. I ask myself a couple of questions. The first one I ask is how is it that I have been kind to others and the other is for God to let me know how I have been unkind to others.
- For me, I like to list ways that I may be able to help others and then set in motion ways to reach those who are lost and lonely. It doesn’t take very much to show kindness to others.
- One of the most important tools I use when it comes to examining my heart and being kind to others is to pray. One way you can start is to pray and ask God to show His love and kindness through you this week.
- Now may be a good time to ask God’s Holy Spirit to show you the areas in your life where you need to change or improve on being kind to others. I do want to say that if you ask God to reveal the areas you need help, be ready for an answer. I have found that He is always ready to help me come to terms with the things I have done in my life which would include the good, bad and the ugly. Once you ask him about what areas you need to improve on, be ready to act upon His answer and be willing to accept help to overcome those areas.
I want to share a link with you all that you may find interesting. As I was writing this blog post, a local country artist came to mind. His name is Eric Dodge. I have noticed over the past few years that his life and messages has turned into inspiration and kindness. He wrote a book called, “Why Not Today?” Part of the description on the book says”…let go of our fears, let go of what is holding us back, and just let go of what we cannot change. We have one life to live. Why not see what we can do with it? Why not face our fears! And, Why Not Today? Are you ready to begin your journey with me? There is no better time to face our fears and chase our dreams.” I’m bringing this up because he was letting fear hold him back from being the person that God intended him to be.
I think many times we humans have a way of not stepping out of our comfort zone. Fear seems to take precedence over making a difference in other people’s lives and in our own. Now may be a good time to practice kindness in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
May the Lord be with you this week as you seek to be kind to others!