Kindness Counts

In Stories of Kindness, Beth Fryer writes, “Once, many years ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and was scheduled for a mastectomy. That morning I attended a college class in which the husband of a good friend was also a student. Most mornings we said hello to one another and that was about it – he would sit with his guy friends, and I usually sat alone. When he entered class that morning,

he came and sat next to me. He never mentioned my mom, never talked about the situation at all…he just sat next to me and chatted a bit. That was the day I learned that sometimes the kindest act is just to BE there…and I always remember this as one of the most touching acts of kindness I’ve ever received.

Kindness counts.

Christians ought to be kind.  It is a quality of those possessing “fruit of the spirit” (Gal. 5:22).  “Brotherly kindness” is one of the virtues that we are expected to add to our faith as we mature spiritually (2 Pet. 1:7). In the great love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 where Paul identifies fifteen characteristics of love, he simply says, “love is kind” (v.4).  And for those putting off the old man of sin and being clothed in the righteousness of Christ, we are exhorted, “be kind to one another” (Eph. 4:32).

There are many examples of kindness in the world and in the Lord’s church.   But the greatest example of kindness is seen in Christ.  Paul affirmed, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,  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,  whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior. (Titus 3:4-6).

Christ is the kindness of God.  His kind heartedness was demonstrated in His treatment of sinners, like the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4).  His kindness was shown in his patience with the apostles, when they doubted and their faith faltered (Matt 14:25-33).  And even as he hung on the cross, while his enemies took his life he prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” The four gospel writers record many examples of the kindness of Jesus to the sick, to the suffering and the sinful.

What act of kindness can I do today?  Is it a word of encouragement to someone who is struggling?  A note of thanks for another’s thoughtfulness?  A phone call to just say, “Hi, I’m thinking of you?”   Maybe just a text message with a few kind words?  Or even a Facebook post to share some thoughts for someone who is hurting, struggling or lonely.

Kindness may take the form of running an errand for someone who can’t do it.  Or babysitting the children of a frazzled mother.  Or visiting someone sick or shut-in.  Kindness may be a birthday card.  Anniversary card.  Or get well card.  It may be a check in the mail to someone who really needs it.

Kindness may  be felt with a pat on the back. A squeeze of the hand. Or a hug.  I’ve seen kindness many times in the twinkle of one’s eye and their knowing smile.  If you need a little nudge or some kindness ideas go to  http://www.randomactsofkindness.org  That will keep you busy for a few years!

Remember, as Scott Adams wrote, “there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.  Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”  Who knows what impact your loving word, thoughtful gesture, or unselfish deed may have upon another?  Who knows how far it may go, or how long it may last?

Mark Twain was right when he wrote, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”  Kindness counts.

4 Comments

Filed under Kindness

4 responses to “Kindness Counts

  1. Lynne Wilson

    AH, so peaceful. I liked the ripple effect you mentioned.

  2. Don Elliott

    Some years ago I mentioned to a fellow Christian that I just could not understand God’s grace. He immediately parroted back the pat answer that it was unmerited favor. It isn’t that I couldn’t and still can’t understand the word or words, my thought is that the simple fact that God would show His grace and kindness to me, me who am nothing special, is beyond my understanding. He sent His son to die for me-me as sinful as I was before my conversion and me who will still fall into sinful moments. He loves me and sent His son to die for me centuries before I was born. That love, kindness, grace is beyond my understanding. I can only be eternally thankful for all of that and live my life in such a way that it does not reflect negatively on Him.
    If I an to live a godly life I must mirror His kindness. It makes me think of something I heard once. “If someone were to accuse me of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence for a conviction?”

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