“…and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.”
2 Peter 1:7
“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3
Kindness is action. Kindness is reaction. We are responsible for both. Kindness is taking the initiative to do something nice for someone. Kindness is showing love and respect and forgiveness through a smile, a word, or an action. Kindness is seeing a need and filling it. It might be bringing dinner to someone who is sick or planting flowers for someone who is unable. One of the kindest acts ever shown to me was when a friend wanted to come over with her children to visit and I declined because I had too much ironing to do. She showed up with her ironing board and iron and we ironed together for hours and visited along the way!
Kindness is a choice. One must practice being kind. It doesn’t come naturally. It, too, is a fruit of the Spirit! Roots in deep, arms raised in praise to the Son! According to 2 Peter 1:7, kindness grows from godliness and leads to love. If you are having a hard time loving someone, try being kind to them. This can lead to love. When we lived in North Dakota, there were two women who were having a hard time with me. I was new, but my husband and I felt an immediate comeraderie with the pastor and his wife and I played piano and taught Sunday School. They went to the pastor with their feelings of jealousy. He suggested that they become my secret sisters. They started being kind through secret acts of giving. Pretty soon, they started to smile at me and initiate conversation. Finally, we became friends because God had changed their hearts to hearts of love.
When the Bible talks about God’s kindness it is in regard to Salvation and mercy. “…so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:7. God’s kindness grew from His love for us and resulted in being able to have a relationship with us. Kindness is the “magic” pill in any relationship. If you have a difficult person in your life, put on kindness and see what happens! Don’t just react to someone’s kindness, but initiate kindness even in the midst of anger, jealousy, or indifference.
Hint for the day: Teach your children kindness by your actions. Be kind to them, but also have them help you be kind to others. When we were at seminary, there was a family that was having a hard time financially. The boys helped me grocery shop and then leave the bags of food on their porch, ring, and run! We had such fun and the family was so thankful. At Christmas, we always find a family that is in need and supply anything from Christmas trees to presents. One day when we were engaged, my husband needed to plant flowers at the apartment complex that he managed. My friend and I did some midnight gardening and boy was he surprised when he found his job already done! Find ways to be kind today.