September 7, 2017
We should be kind to others. We all know it. The Bible instructs us to be kind. Even the secular world values kindness … or at least the secular world devalues unkindness. Perhaps that is an important distinction. The world tells our kids, “Do not bully others.” But rarely does the world tell our children to look for ways to build others up.
The Bible is not remise in its instruction on kindness. We are continually instructed to be kind to others.
Colossians 3:12 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Proverbs 3:3 – Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. (NASB)
Titus 2:4-5 – Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
1 Corinthians 13:4 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Why does God put such an emphasis on kindness? Is it simply just to be more like Christ? To demonstrate to the world that we are Christ followers? Actually kindness has more benefits than just being a good example to others. Kindness can favorably impact those around us, bringing cheer and life. It can change the atmosphere in a room. Kindness lifts up those around us, helping them to become all that God desires them to be.
Proverbs 12:25 – Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
Proverbs 15:4 – Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit. (GNT)
Proverbs 16:24 – Kind words are like honey— they cheer you up and make you feel strong. (CEV)
Even though kindness lifts up those around us, I am not sure that is the main reason that God asks us to be kind to others. Did you know that being kind actually makes us happier? Recently I was reading The Kindness Challenge by Shaunti Feldhahn and she said in her research that “the main indicator of how happy/satisfied someone is with life is how they treat others.” Honestly I was a little skeptical of this statement at first, but as I was looking into verses about kindness in the Bible I was amazed at what it said. The Bible actually backed up what Shaunti had discovered in her research…or actually Shaunti’s researched backed up the Word of God.
Proverbs 11:17 – Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.
Psalm 41:1 – Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The LORD rescues them when they are in trouble. (NLT)
Proverbs 11:16 – A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth.
Proverbs 14:21 – The one who despises his neighbor sins, but whoever shows kindness to the poor will be happy. (HCSB)
Here it is in the Word of God. When we are kind, joy, happiness, and honor follow. That is an amazing payback. When we set out to be kind to others, to lift them up, to encourage and strengthen them, the result is that we are lifted up. We are encouraged and strengthened. Let’s be kind to others today and then pay attention to the payback we receive in our own lives. Perhaps if enough of us are kind to others the atmosphere in the room… or the school… or the city… or maybe even the nation will change….but at least the atmosphere in our own hearts will change.