Kindness benefits everyone. It brings joy to the giver and peace to the receiver. The recipient reciprocates because respect is embedded in kindness. Kindheartedness facilitates respect as it treats others with dignity and honor. Even when offended or ostracized, a gracious heart takes the higher ground of humility and gentleness. It may not be liked, but it is respected. Kind actions attract the Almighty’s approval.
What is kindness? At its core it is a reflection of Christ. It is what we expect of the Lord when we desire good things. Listen to the heart of this employee’s prayer for his boss to experience God’s kindness in marriage: "O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham" (Genesis 24:12). In the same way your Savior shows you kindness in salvation and with His severe mercy.
Furthermore, because of Christ’s great kindness, you are compelled to compassionate action. Ruthless men and women use fear and intimidation to gain wealth and power, but considerate adults do not compromise their character for cash or influence. Indeed, God’s great kindness grants us the favor we need. “The Lord was with him [Joseph]; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden” (Genesis 39:21).
Who doesn’t need kindness? The undeserving especially need your kindness as a reminder of God’s lasting love and infinite forgiveness. Be kind to the unkind, and they will see what really rests in your heart of hearts. Your kindheartedness will lead others to your source in Jesus Christ. Here the kindness of the Lord leads to repentance. “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:4).
Prayer: To whom can I extend kindness that has been unkind to me?
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