Kindness is a special quality of humanity which focuses on the good will and well-being of another individual. It emphasizes other people, rather than ourselves, as the beneficiaries of goodness.
In certain instances in the Bible, kindness and gentleness can be translated from the same original word (see Col. 3:12, Gal. 5:22). This expands the meaning of kindness to include that of being morally beneficial and excellent. It also helps us understand that true kindness is developed a fruit of the Spirit.
Genuine, Christ-like kindness can be produced by the Holy Spirit working in and through Christians. When we struggle with being kind, it could be an indicator that we aren’t allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts and our actions. But God has instructed us to be kind. There is a choice that we have in expressing kindness.
We can choose to spend quality time with God and allow His Holy Spirit to help us with kindness. He can enable us to be kind to even the people who seem to be the most undeserving of kindness. And while there are many people who would fit in this category, don’t forget that no person, including ourselves, deserves the kindness that Jesus gives.
We can also choose to go out of our way to intentionally show kindness to other people. This is exactly what Christ did. He would go out of His way to meet some person’s needs. Time and time again Christ would put someone else’s needs before His own. There is no greater demonstration of this than His sacrifice for our sins on the cross.
Kindness has the potential to significantly and uniquely impact the lives of people.
I’m often asked what I think is most needed in youth ministry. This is a huge question that could have a massive list of answers, but I honestly think that one of the most needed things in youth ministry, and in church in general, is a display of genuine kindness. Teens often wonder how they can practically get involved in serving Jesus. It really isn’t difficult at all. There is no lack for need of kindness amongst teens. There are plenty of teens who need someone to be their friend. There are plenty of people who desperately need for someone to take a real interest in their lives.
One of the most needed and most impactful ways to serve Jesus is by showing kindness to other people. But it’s not just teens who need a return to kindness – it is Christians of all ages. Can you imagine being a part of a church where the people were more focused on the well-being, joy, and needs of other people than they were on themselves?
Being kind is not difficult, but it does take intentionality and self-sacrifice.
Would you go out of your way today to be kind to someone? Think about the people you know. How could you on purpose show goodness to them today? Hand-write a card, give flowers, buy a coffee, make a phone call, stop by a workplace, give a book away, tell someone they are doing a good job, buy a lunch, give a gift card, wash a car, clean a house, mow a lawn, babysit for free while parents go out, pick up trash, spend time just talking, tip well, give candy, leave sticky notes with encouraging messages for coworkers/classmates, make dinner, ask a guest at church to sit with you, visit someone in the nursing home – the key is to be intentional and just start!
When we show kindness to people, we demonstrate the love of Christ to others.
If you want the opportunity to share Jesus with other people, a great place to start is being genuinely kind to them. There are countless ways to demonstrate kindness to other people. How are you showing kindness to others today?
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,