Jesus gave a famous story in Luke 10:30-35 “Then Jesus answered and said: ‘A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’’” This story teaches many great spiritual principles. The principle I would like to emphasize at this time is kindness. The Samaritan showed kindness to the injured man by bandaging his wounds, bringing him to an inn, taking care of him, and paying the innkeeper for further care.
Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. In kindness, we extend grace and mercy to others. We show patience, forgiveness and compassion. It’s not merely about showing compassion but also involves a commitment to the well-being of another person. Love is described as being kind (1 Corinthians 13:4). The authors of the Bible used different words to describe the characteristic of kindness. For example, in some places, the word goodness is used instead of kindness.
God is kind to us. Titus 3:4-7 “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, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” God is kind and committed to our well-being. In the ages to come, He will continue to show us His kindness. Ephesians 2:4-7 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus demonstrated kindness to the people who came to Him. Matthew 14:14-21 “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’ And they said to Him, ‘We have here only five loaves and two fish.’ He said, ‘Bring them here to Me.’” Jesus then proceeded to cause the five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand men, besides women and children. Jesus showed kindness when he had compassion on the sick and healed them and when he had compassion on the thousands of people that were hungry and He fed them.
King David showed kindness to Mephibosheth, the grandson of King Saul and the son of Jonathan. Even though Mephibosheth was lame and destitute, David restored his inheritance and allowed him to eat daily at the king’s table (2 Samuel 21:7). Ruth was kind to her mother-in-law Naomi. Ruth refused to leave Naomi and instead followed her to Israel and took care of her. Ruth worked to put bread on the table and even married the older man Boaz to continue the descendants of Naomi (The Book of Ruth). Abraham was kind to three strangers who turned out to be angels when he showed them hospitality (Genesis 18). Dorcus was known for her kindness in that she was full of good works and charitable deeds (Acts 9:36). When the apostle Paul was shipwrecked on the island of Malta, the natives showed kindness. Acts 28:2-3 “And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold.”
You and I are to be kind to one another. Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Colossians 3:12-14 “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. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Kindness is included in the lists of each of these encouragements by the apostle Paul.
The fruit of the Spirit includes kindness. Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” When the Holy Spirit lives and works within you, you will be kind to others.
I encourage you to be kind to your brother and sister in Christ. I encourage you to be kind to your close family members such as your husband, wife, father, mother, children, or siblings. And I encourage you to be kind to those in the world that you interact with each day. I encourage you to let the Holy Spirit develop the characteristic of kindness within you.