I’ve wanted to be many things in my life but kind was never on the list. I pride myself on being intelligent, reliable, loving, dependable, witty, competent, and so many other attributes. My mental picture of who I should be has never included kind. Kindness has always been associated with weakness for me. I know people who are kind without hesitancy, but do I immediately associate these people with success, strength, or intellect. I think not. Mainstream society has given me phrases like: “nice guys finish last’, and“don’t take my kindness for weakness”, it’s a wonder anyone strives for kindness. Jaded, ill informed, and encouraged to be less than humane I succumbed to being a jerk. This is not the storyline I ascribe to have. Renewal of mind is necessary. I had been given a false narrative on kindness. I must now seek earnestly to understand what kindness is.
1 Corinthians 13:4 states, “ Love is patient and kind”
Let’s break this down practically.
- We know from Scripture that God is love. God tells us that Kindness is also a characteristic of love. This makes it an attribute of the creator. God has been kind to us in many tangible ways. He gave us life, he gave us eternal life, he gives us grace, mercy, and relationship with him. We can rely on the knowledge of God’s loving example to know that being kind to people is not only something He commands but something he embodies. In the struggle to be kind remembering how God has been kind to us will be helpful. No matter what you have been told don’t believe the lie. Being kind is what God wills as part of our love to all people.
- We don’t have a choice. If we belong to God then kindness is apart of the cross we take up daily. It is an integral aspect of our mission to die daily to our flesh and live for and in Him. Kindness is not based on how you feel. You don’t have to feel like being kind. You don’t have to agree with being kind. You don’t get to decide who is worthy of your kindness. What you get to do is be obedient. You get to trust that God’s kindness is His stated will and that it won’t change. He will always be commanding you to kind to each of His creations.
- Between the many people who will discourage you. Your flesh’s natural inclination toward self, and misguided counsel being unkind is easy. The real strength is in standing for righteousness especially in being kind. You will have to fight to overpower what is easily your nature. The war within will be vicious but the growing pains of learning kindness toward your fellow man is character and strength building. Taking the high road when you can be callous, initiating kindness, seeking ways to go above and beyond will train your spirit in unmatched ways. Kill the unbelief that has set in about kindness.
- Kindness isn’t about you. It is about God. It is about serving. It is about leading. It is about whomever the kindness is being bestowed upon. If you can remove yourself from the equation kindness can become a way of life. It doesn’t matter if the person was kind to you, or if they will be in return. What matters is that you believe when God calls you to be kind He is called you to love people in a way that denies self. He is calling you to be aware of humanity and showing kindness as often as you can to others.
- Counter Cultural
- Culture teaches us to be self centered, ambitious, look out for your star player, put yourself first, and many other common things. Kindness will call you to put some of these things on the back burner. This doesn’t mean seeking to reach your goals, or to aim for good achievements is sin. This means that you as a believer shouldn’t step on other people to get there. It means that you have to be willing to go against the grain. You will have leaders, mentors, friends, and even fellow believers discourage you in kindness. Culture and people aren’t the standard. Jesus is the standard. Let his example guide your view of kindness above all.
Kindness is love in its purest form. If we are called to be Christlike we are called to kindness. This is a daily wrestle that I am learning to view properly. It doesn’t matter how people perceive my kindness. It doesn’t matter if I feel like pushover. It doesn’t matter if I receive kindness in return. It doesn’t matter if I believe this person is worthy. It doesn’t matter if I agree with God’s call to be kind moment to moment. What matters is that I submit all of that in submission to the Lord. Be encouraged that He is here willing and working in your through his loving kindness. His kindness enables you to be kind to others.
Be Loving. Be Faithful. Be Kind.
- Jenean Elizabeth