I placed a banner on a wall in my classroom that says, “Work Hard and Be Kind.” I’m not sure it’s doing any good. Sixth graders are so self absorbed.
Kindness is a word that our culture has adopted lately. It’s a “cool” word. You can find it on t-shirts, bumper stickers, and wall hangings. I think we can thank Ellen for starting the trend when she began ending her shows with the admonition “be kind.”
But kindness didn’t originate with Ellen. It’s been around since the beginning of time. In His kindness God gave us life. Just look around you. The creation testifies of the heart of the Creator. Fingernail moons accented by the bright evening star, burnt horizons blazing at sunset, and impatient daffodils pushing through frozen earth in early spring silently proclaim a good God. A kind God.
More Than Flowers and Sunsets
The creation does reveal God’s kindness; however in His kindness, God has given us so much more than a beautiful world to live in. He’s given us His Spirit’s Presence here with us and the hope of eternity spent with Him.
I never realized the power of the words in Titus 3: 4-7 until researching scriptures about God’s kindness. It really says it all and sums up the gospel in a few sentences.
The Kindness of God in the Person of Jesus
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Col. 1:15. Friends, if you want to know God, read about Jesus. If you want to know what God likes, desires, gives, demands, extends . . . .His merciful, gracious, holy, wise, and loving character, read the gospels in the Bible. Get to know Jesus. He was Kindness in flesh.
God’s kindness is powerful. It changes things. Redeems, makes whole, and gives new life. Yet His kindness doesn’t just provide fire insurance. His kindness takes up residence in us the minute we surrender to His love.
God’s Kindness Changes Us
“But the fruit of the Spirits is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law” Galatians 5:22-23.
The truth is, in our own strength, we really can’t always be kind. We need help. We need Him.
Bite of Bread Reading Plan and Printable
Here’s 6 scriptures with prompts to use this week during your time with the Lord. They’re short and sweet but powerful. The Word of God can’t get into us until we get into the Word! Click on one of the blue links to download or print these scriptures and prompts.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Prompt: According to this scripture, why did God save us? How did He save us? What does the Holy Spirit do? Have you surrendered your life, dreams, and desires to Jesus? Let Him take over and make you new. The first things He’ll give you is love, joy, and peace.
Psalm 119: 76
May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.
Prompt: “Love” has been translated from “chesed.” Chesed means acts of merciful loving-kindness. God’s chesed is unfailing. It isn’t based on our ability to reciprocate. The psalmist wrote words of trust of God’s kindness. Can you write such a prayer of such trust?
In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.
Prompt: “Everlasting kindness” is Chesed. This is God’s promise to Israel. It is His character. Out of the kindness of His heart He has compassion on His children and redeems our mistakes and failures. Have you experienced His redemption of a mistake in your life? Write it down. Redemption can mean to turn something for good.
mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Prompt: Make this personal. Rewrite the verse and put your name in it as if God were speaking to you.
Ephesians 2: 6-7
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Prompt: This verse does not say God “will raise” us but that He already has. It’s done. Are you still trying to earn it? It’s done.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Prompt: Circle “chosen,” “holy,” and “dearly loved.” How does God’s heart toward us help us extend such compassion, kindness, humility, and patience with others?
When Kindness Isn’t Easy
Let’s face it. Sometimes kindness is not easy. Sometimes it doesn’t flow out of us like we’d hoped because kindness is not always returned. Read this definition from Life, Hope, and Truth:
Kindness is humbly giving of ourselves in love and mercy to others who may not be able to give anything back, who sometimes don’t deserve it, and who frequently don’t thank us for it. Basically kindness means a way of thinking that leads to doing thoughtful deeds for others.
When kindness is hard to give, take some time to stop and ask why.
Is it pride, unforgiveness, or judgment that doesn’t allow the kindness to flow?
The word “kindness” has been translated in Galatians 5:22 from the Greek word Chrestos. It means a softening or mellowing of something that was once harsh. It is not in our nature to give such humble, merciful kindness to people who don’t deserve it, but we have been given the most wonderful kindness from God in his Son and the gift of his Spirit.
“Soften our hearts, Lord. Make us mellow in our response. Cultivate Chrestos in us. Help us slow down and look for opportunities to be kind. Fill us and empower the fruit of kindness to flow from our hearts, minds, and actions. Amen.”
I’m praying you’ll have a wonderful week of revelation of Holy Spirit’s Presence and Kindness in you. As one of my friends (Bonnie) always ends her e-mails . . .
You are so loved.
PS. If you would like to read more than the six on our reading plan this week, there is a list of forty on Biblestudytools.com.
PS.S. And you might want to read my article on how His Amazing Grace Changed Me.
The Kindness of God Video