It’s so easy to be nice. You say the right words, greet people, whip out your best smile, and nod in conversation. Everyone can be nice, and it’s easy to appear nice even when you’re feeling anything but. Being kind, however, can’t be determined by outward appearances. It’s so much more than a firm handshake and a respectful reply. Kindness comes from a deeper place that dictates your actions towards those around you. So what does kindness look like? We don’t have to go far to see the best example; we simply have to look at the life of Jesus. Let’s be reminded of his great love with these bible verses about Kindness.
Kindness Is Not Performative
Kindness doesn’t require acknowledgement. When your heart is kind, it pushes you towards compassionate acts that don’t need to be posted on social media so you can be congratulated for it. Often kindness is done when no one else is looking, a secret act of love that is prompted by the Holy Spirit; an act for an audience of One. Jesus never needed accolades for all of His miraculous acts, such as when He healed one of His society’s untouchables: a leper man.
“When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
Kindness is Not Selective
Jesus dined and gathered with sinners of all kinds. He didn’t just rub shoulders with “important” people, because kindness doesn’t choose according to status or wealth. It’s an active decision you make to be care about everyone. And looking at the life of Jesus, we can see clearly that His love is accessible to every single human being, no matter their race, gender, heritage, age, or status in society.
“You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
Kindness Is Born Out of Love
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Kindness and love are always mentioned together in the Bible, and this is because it is not possible to be kind to each other without love. They are inextricable. It may seem impossible to love every person you meet, but believe it or not, it is very clearly expected of us! Why? Because we represent our savior. Our faces represent the Jesus that other people see. Your life, your words, your actions may be the only bible they ever read, so it is important that you love with the love of Christ and be kind to everyone you encounter. And whether you believe it or not, it is possible to love everyone, even when they are unlovable! Because we are not loving with our human ability, but through Jesus.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Kindness Take Practice
If it seems like it’s taking such an effort on your end to be kind, don’t worry. It’s not something that actually comes naturally to us. Our human self really leans towards self-preservation and not compassion, which is why we need to practice kindness. Thankfully, we have so many bible verses showing us all the different ways we can be kind to each other. It really is an intentional, deliberate choice we have to make every day. And as with all things, the more you practice it, pray about it, and see it in the life of Jesus, the more natural it will become.
“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.’ ”
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
“Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.”
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
Take time to pray today for God to give you opportunities to practice kindness and compassion. Be God’s ray of love and light in a dark, lost world, because kindness is what we need more of, every day.