Love is Kind
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a; Luke 10:25-37
I could not help but notice how my uncle Bob was walking so gingerly along the pathway in front of me. We were in Uganda; we had just finished a session in the Pastor’s Conference at the school and were on our way back to the guest house. I looked at Bob’s feet and instantly diagnosed the problem–he was wearing some old worn-out sandals instead of the shoes he had left with that morning. It turned out that one of the Ugandan pastors had told Bob that his sandals made his feet hurt. So Bob kindly traded his shoes to the fellow in exchange for those sandals. It was when we got back to the guesthouse that we found out why the sandals hurt his feet. The soles had been reattached with nails the heads of which were protruding through the insoles. Owie! It was an act of kindness for sure!
We are kind when we are “disposed to be helpful.” Kindness is a readiness to do good, relieve burdens, to be useful, to serve. Someone has said that kindness is “love in work clothes.” The story of the Good Samaritan is a splendid example of love expressed in showing kindness towards someone. A poor fella was beaten and robbed. The Good Samaritan showed compassion. He bound up the man’s wounds, put him on his own animal, took him to the inn, and then cared for him. Then when he had to leave, he paid the innkeeper to take care of the man until he could return.
The life of Jesus is full of examples of Him showing kindness to others. As Acts 10:38 puts it, “He went about doing good,” as He healed the sick, fed the hungry, cleansed lepers, gave sight to the blind, etc. “The kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared” when Jesus came to dwell among us (Titus 3:4). It is at the cross where the full measure of His kindness was revealed! And Jesus’ work on the cross instructs us “kind-ward” as Amy Carmichael once observed, “If I can write an unkind letter, speak an unkind word, think an unkind thought without grief and shame, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
There are countless ways for us to show kindness towards others, just as we humans invariably find ourselves in needy situations. In compassion we show concern by doing what we can to help. A kind word to a discouraged friend can go a long way in lifting their spirits. Simple things, like buying someone’s coffee or lunch can make someone’s day. It’s great to help a neighbor with a project at their house. Or even just to be there with a caring presence for someone who is sick or bereaved will mean a lot. The list goes on and on. The greatest act of kindness of all is to share the gospel with someone, so that they might come to know Him who is always kind and is kind in the greatest measure. And like the Good Samaritan, it is great to show kindness towards someone you don’t know. Let that person behind you go first through the checkout line. Donate helpful items to the Rescue Mission. Or better yet, find a ministry like that in which you can help others in need. Contribute to worthwhile causes that work to show kindness to folks all around the world. Even as many organizations are now raising funds to help those in Ukraine or those who have fled the country.
With respect to showing kindness towards others, the American Quaker Missionary, Stephen Grellet, put it this way: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
In Loving Like Jesus, We Will Find Countless Opportunities to Show Kindness
Heaven Father. We praise and thank You that there was a day in which Your kindness appeared in the incarnation of Your Son. And how incredibly blessed we are in Your kindness, that has worked to meet our greatest need. We know that as Your children, You’ve called us to be imitators of You. We are humbled by the reality of such a high calling. May we walk accordingly. All around us we see people with needs–great and small! How privileged we are to have the opportunity to serve You by serving others. Grant us the eyes to see and hearts to care in working to meet their needs, according to Your plan and leading. And we will be careful to praise You in all, knowing that any good deeds we do have been prepared ahead of time by You! Amen!