God’s goal for me is to be kind, thoughtful and caring. I am to love. That is the main thing about the main thing. When I don’t love, I miss God’s goal (aka sin). I need help with this. The good news is that the Holy Spirit is here to help. The Holy Spirit grows the fruit of kindness in my heart.
Kindness is being good to someone. God is good and in a good mood. Jesus shows me the way to kindness and compassion. Jesus Cares!
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in the Messiah also has forgiven you. | Ephesians 4:32 (NASB)
The Greek word for “kindness” is chrēstotēs. It means “benignity, tender concern, uprightness.” It is kindness of heart and kindness of act.
Kindness is the characteristic that led God to provide salvation for us. Kindness leads God to give us green pastures, quiet waters, and the restoration of our souls when we’re weary. It is God’s tender care that makes Him want to gather us under His wings, to protect us and keep us close to Him.
God expressed kindness when He provided for Elijah and the widow of Zarephath during a drought—and He showed more kindness later when He raised the widow’s only son from the dead. When Sarah exiled Hagar and Ishmael, God gave the outcasts kindness in the form of water and hope. On multiple occasions, kindness induced Jesus to stop what He was doing and help others in need. And kindness leads the Good Shepherd to rescue us when we stray.
Paul put his finger on the basic cause of a bitter attitude (in Ephesians): We cannot forgive people. An unforgiving spirit is the devil’s playground, and before long it becomes the disciple’s battleground.
If somebody hurts us, either deliberately or unintentionally, and we do not forgive him, then we begin to develop bitterness within, which hardens the heart. We should be tenderhearted and kind, but instead we are hardhearted and bitter. Actually, we are not hurting the person who hurt us; we are only hurting ourselves.
Bitterness in the heart makes us treat others the way Satan treats them, when we should treat others the way God has treated us. In His gracious kindness, God has forgiven us, and we should forgive others. We do not forgive for our sake (though we do get a blessing from it) or even for their sake, but for Jesus’ sake. Learning how to forgive and forget is one of the secrets of a happy life.
In kindness He “gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11).
- Ephesians 4:32 (NASB) —Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in the Messiah also has forgiven you.
- 1 Corinthians 4:13 —when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4 —Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
- 2 Corinthians 6:6 —in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love,
- Galatians 5:22–23 —But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
- Colossians 3:12 —So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
- 1 Thessalonians 5:15 —See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.
- 2 Timothy 2:24 —The Master’s slave must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,
- Titus 2:5 —to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
- 2 Peter 1:7 —and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 43). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.