Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. –Ephesians 4:32
We live in a world where kindness is a thing of the past. Just turn on the news or open the pages of the newspaper and all you see and hear about is chaos in the world. It seems easier to tear someone down than to lift them up. This idea bothers me because that is not how God created us to be. Have we become a society that has nothing kind to say to our fellow man?
I can only imagine how it must break God’s heart to see how His people mistreat each other. Kindness is an attribute of God. We all have the attribute of kindness in us. We can be kind because God is kind to us. He demonstrates His kindness through His love and grace for us. God loves us so much that He sent His son, Jesus to on the cross for our sins and He shows us grace by choosing to bless us rather than curse us for the wrong things we have done. In return we are given the promise of eternal life and the gift of forgiveness.
It is easy to show kindness when someone is showing you kindness in return, such as a friend or family member. But Jesus takes it a step further when he says to “love you’re your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). When asked “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus replies with the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). A Jewish man was attacked by robbers on an isolated road. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and left him for dead. A priest saw the man and walked by him on the other side of the road offering no help. Jewish Levite, a civic leader saw him and he walked by offering no help. Then a Samaritan, hated by the Jews, stops and offers aide to the man. He cleans his wounds, puts him on his donkey and takes him to an inn. The Samaritan paid the inn keeper for his food and lodging until he was well enough to care for himself. I love this story. This is such a great illustration of kindness in its greatest form: kindness to a total stranger.
God blessed me with $20.00 that I was not expecting. On my way home, sitting at a red light, I saw a man with a cardboard sign that read “God bless you.” As the light turned green and I approached this total stranger, I felt I needed to bless him just as I had been blessed unexpectedly that day. I rolled down my window handed him a folded $5.00 bill and said “Bless you.” He politely said “God bless you” in return. I have not seen him sense that time but I pray he has made it safely to where he needed to be.
Kindness has a way of bringing us in touch with people we may not want to be in contact with. It doesn’t always have to deal with helping strangers. It could be in how we treat those we are closest to. And it starts with love, grace and kindness. ~Tonya
Your Turn: Kind people express the kindness of God. When people see me I hope they see Him in me. What does your neighbor see in you? Do you have a Good Samaritan story you would like to share with us? Tell us your story in the comment box below. ~ Breath on Paper