Keith and Kristyn begin “Compassion Hymn” with these words, “There is an everlasting kindness You lavished on us.” That is indeed what we find in the wonderful grace of God – kindness. Kindness is such a simple idea but such a powerful and transforming act. We have been transformed by God’s kindness to be kind.
Searching for Kindness
Paul wrote the Ephesians, “But be ye kind, one to another, tenderhearted forgiving one another even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” (4:32) As a pastor of nearly 40 years I can testify that one place that sees far too little of the kindness that Paul describes is the church. Of all places where it should be easiest to manifest the kindness of God, it should be in the house of God. It should be where we hear of His grace and are strengthened in the walk of grace. We need to practice kindness in the church.
The Kindness of Jesus
In Luke 6:35 Jesus uses this same word to describe how God is to those who are unthankful and evil. Kindness is an integral part of the great grace of God. It is a manifestation of His grace that we can participate in daily. Think of those to whom Jesus was kind. There was the outcast leper who no one would help but Jesus. There was the woman caught in adultery that the Pharisees wanted to unlawfully execute. There was Syro-Phoneician woman who was a despised Gentile whose daughter Jesus healed. There was Matthew the tax collector, Mary Magdalene the prostitute, the Mad Man of the Gadarenes and we cannot forget Peter after he denied Christ.
Showing Kindness to Everyone
Jesus was kind to them all. Do we know many people who are “worse” than these? We need to show the kindness of Christ to needy people in streets of our life each day. Peter also uses this word “kindness”. When we find it in I Peter 2:3, however, it is translated “gracious”. The idea of the words is truly inseparable. I would like to add another verse to Kate Wilkinson’s lovely devotional hymn “May the Mind of Christ, My Savior”. Sing this with the same tune. “May the grace of Christ my Savior flow from me for Him each day; that the world may see my Jesus, find in Him the way.”