All of us are looking for friends who are kind and compassionate. With social media breeding self-centeredness, anxiety, and godlessness, now more than ever, Christians need to counter the culture by leading with kindness. God made us for relationships, but today, many live with Covid and addictions to social media with little or no human interaction. This generation is desperate for authentic relationships where people honor one another by listening to their thoughts. If Christians can lead with listening and speak into them with kindness, compassion, and respect, lives and relationships can change.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31,32)
The Greek word for “kindness” is chrēstotēs which means moral goodness, integrity, and gentleness. It is the kindness of heart that leads to deep, loving feelings for the other person. Christian compassion must go beyond the superficial and mere duty. Genuine kindness, love, and forgiveness are long-lasting because they come from the heart of God. Should not our response to His love, kindness, and forgiveness be extended to friends and foe alike?
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God” (Ephesians 5:1,2).
Being kind is not a suggestion from God; it is a command.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:12–14).
God shows us His kindness so that we, too, can lead with compassion. It is God’s kindness that motivated Him to provide salvation to all who believe.
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:4,5)
It is through God’s kindness that He leads us to green pastures and still waters, restores our souls, comforts us, prepares a table, and extends goodness and mercy to us forever. (Psalm 23)
It is through His kindness that He will guide us and comfort us on our life journeys.
“He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom and gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11)
To clothe ourselves with Godly compassion and kindness does not come naturally. Godly kindness that brings God glory comes through the Holy Spirit who lives in all who believe. It takes a committed and patient person to be kind to everyone we meet. The motive behind being kind is not about wanting something from someone or trying to look like the good guy; it is because we want to extend the grace that God gave us. Our acts of kindness need to be genuine. When we ask someone how their day is going, take the time to stop, listen and respond to them.
Being kind is being quick to forgive those who have hurt us. Those who wait to receive forgiveness from a perpetrator before they forgive them, often become anxious, angry, and bitter. When we put emotions aside and choose to forgive, we show our gratitude to Jesus for His forgiveness given to us by dying on the cross. When we properly forgive, and have extended the kindness that demonstrates love and respect to others, even our enemies, our reward will be great.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil” (Luke 6:35).