Kindness

Biblical kindness is much more than the social norms of politeness. It involves seeking the good of another, even at personal cost to ourselves. It also means dealing with people and their reputations carefully. In Scripture, kindness is closely related to mercy, and it often involves forgiveness and forbearance, looking past the ways someone else offends us or tests our patience…remember our focus from last week!

In his own kindness toward us, God doesn’t turn a blind eye to our sin, he shares in its weight and penalty in order to be able to look past it in forgiving us. Paul says in Romans, that the kindness of God doesn’t do away with our need to repent, instead it leads us to repentance. “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2)

When Christians are called to exercise kindness, it often involves sharing the troubles of others.

“…do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”    Ephesians 4

“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.”                                                                                       Philippians 4