What is kindness and what does it look like?
Hesed – occurs 250 times – mercy, kindness, loving-kindness. 42 times it is stated that God’s hesed endures forever. God desires a people to be the object of His hesed.
Agathos – goodness, that which is good
Epikei – mildness, gentleness, and fairness
Pilanthropia – benevolence towards others
Chrestos – graciousness, goodness – this is the word most often translated as kindness. It is listed as a fruit of the Spirit.
Some occurrences of Chrestos:
(Romans 11:22) “Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.”
(Titus 3:4-5) “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
Kindness is often translated from words associated with goodness, so I get the sense that kindness is not only a description of what is merciful or gentle, but also that which is fitting and right.
(Ruth 2:20) – what Boaz did was merciful, but also fitting and right. This would also be true in our example of Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9.
In English, it comes from the same word as kin, or kind as in “what kind of person are you?”
What are some easy ways to be kind to others?
(Galatians 6:2) “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Seizing opportunities: (Galatians 6:10) “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” What opportunities arise from day to day?
Sharing resources: (1 John 3:17) “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”
(Acts 20:35) “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Kind words: (Ephesians 4:29) “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Acts of service: (Matthew 25) “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”
Should I be kind even when I do not feel like it?
Yes, it is the right thing to do.
(Proverbs 3:3-4) “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man.”
(Colossians 3:12) “put on a heart of…kindness” and (Ephesians 4:32) “Be kind to one another” both command kindness from us.
(Micah 6:8) The LORD requires of us that we love kindness.
(Luke 6:35) God Himself is kind to the ungrateful and evil.
(1 Peter3:9) “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”
How can I be kind when I do not feel like it?
(Proverbs 11:7) “A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.” Realize that it is in your own best interest to be kind.
(Proverbs 3:3-4) also indicate that this will result in favor from God and man. See (1 Peter 3:9) as well.
(Ephesians 4:15) Speak the truth in love. Examine your motivation, and if it is love, act from that source.
(Philippians 2:3-4) “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
(Luke 6:35) Recount how God has been kind to you.
What is an act of kindness that was done to you that you remember?
What is an act of kindness that you have been privileged to do for another?
What is the proper motivation for kindness?
1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient and kind”
1 John 3:18 “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”