by Mark G. Holbrook
I want to touch on a subject that we don’t hear much about: kindness. For the believer, kindness is rooted in our response to how much God loves us, and the sacrifice He made on our behalf. He lavished the riches of His grace on us. From that abundance we love others and in large measure express that love through acts of kindness.
Kindness is not just saying kind words but doing them, living them. The Lord Jesus was a perfect example of kindness. He went around helping all manner of people. They lined up for hours, maybe days to hear his words and receive healing. But the Word says that Jesus helped people regardless of whether they deserved it. He ambushed them with kindness. For many, it was the last thing they expected. Remember the woman at the well? Instead of judging, the Lord was kind to her.
There are a lot of examples in Scripture. Remember when Paul and the other criminals were on that ship to Rome and they got shipwrecked in the last part of Acts? They swam ashore from this sunken ship to the isle of Malta. It says in Acts 28, “When they had been brought safely through, then we found that the island was called Malta. And the natives showed us extraordinary kindness; for because of the rain that had set in and the cold they kindled a fire and received us all.”
We also find a wonderful story in 2 Samuel 9 about King David showing unexpected—and life-changing—kindness to a young disabled man by the name of Mephibosheth. This story is in the context of the Lord Himself showing extraordinary kindness to David. Psalm 18:50 says, “He gives great deliverance to His King, and shows loving kindness to His anointed, to David and his descendants forever.” Kindness ultimately is an expression of the very character of God. David recognizes that he is the chief recipient of God’s loving kindness and, in turn, shows kindness to another.
Then there’s this wonderful reference in Acts 9 about a young woman in Joppa named Tabitha. “This woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity, which she continually did.” Can you imagine being referenced in the Bible and the only thing it mentions is that you’re kind, doing acts of charity and love? Not bad.
God calls us to be kind and gentle people. For me, it doesn’t come very quickly or easily. But by God’s grace all of us can be kind in ways that glorify Him in very practical, tangible ways. Colossians 3:12 says, “So as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
What does kindness look like in your ministry? I know of one church—Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, CA—whose vision includes a significant financial commitment to meet the needs of impoverished children worldwide.
How are you, as a ministry leader, perpetuating kindness in your ministry? How would embracing kindness influence your mission and vision and the funding to pursue them?
I look forward to your comments.