Kindness: behaviour marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others.
I spent 9 years of my life at a boarding school with girls from different backgrounds and beliefs. At the time I didn’t think they were all nice, but as an adult I can think a bit more logically about these girls. Of course I wasn’t always that nice either. However, there is one girl I can think of who came to our school at the age of 16 and she is genuinely one of the sweetest and kindest girls I knew at school. Over the years I’ve met many women and men that are so kind. What makes us recognise that in people?
In 1 Corinthians 13:4 it states “Love is kind…” and a whole lot of other characteristics. Kindness is something that we receive and can show to others in the most simple of gestures. It can literally be a stranger passing by, smiling and saying “hi”, it can be the warm gesture of a hug, it could be receiving an encouraging card in the post (oh for the joys of receiving actual mail), it could be a text asking how you are, it can be everyone singing Happy Birthday to you at work, it can be someone making you a meal. Kindness expresses itself through numerous gestures and words.
Jesus was incredibly kind. Not only did he die and rise again for his enemies (all mankind), but even when provocative people, the rest of the world was shunning and hating, he’d talk to them lovingly and accept them. For example Zacchaeus, the woman at the well, the woman about to be stoned for adultery, the woman pouring perfume on his feet and even Judas his own disciple, who betrayed him for money.
So how can I embrace loving kindness? My dad once said to me “There’s never any harm in showing kindness, but there is if you don’t” and that’s stayed with me. I try to act promptly on kind impulses that I have – yes send that encouraging card/text/email, give them a gift, smile at someone who looks like they won’t smile back, give them a hug, compliment someone. Being kind will impact someone more than you think and it does you good too. It’s love in action.