“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion and with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; if anyone has a complaint against someone else, forgive him. Indeed, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive” (Colossians 3:11-13).
I am pondering the word kindness. The truth is that I am not always kind to people. Because of my own selfish desires, I fall short of bringing glory to God. And for me, bringing glory to God is the bottom line to my life – to testify to the world of God’s kindness. Falling short with unkindness always makes me feel sad because I don’t want to be a weed in a sea of grass, but a daisy.
Kindness is defined as an act of being kind; marked by good and charitable behavior, pleasant disposition, and concern for others. It is considered a virtue.
I don’t read the Talmud or even know what these oral, now written writings hold, but in doing just a little research on kindness, I found the Talmud claims that ‘deeds of kindness are equal in weight to all the commandments.’ How can a person say, ‘I follow Torah’ or ‘I love God’s commandments’ if the ‘law of kindness’ doesn’t flow from their lips (Proverbs 31:26)?
As a follower of Yeshua, I am commanded to uphold the Spirit of the ‘law‘ because I am a new creation. The ‘old letter of the law’ kills because it has to do with my hard, selfish, sinful heart. It not only kills me, but everyone else to whom I am unkind. You know the cliché ‘kill them with kindness;’ it would be better than killing them with unkindness!
Kindness is one of the fruits of the Spirit. I had a Bible teacher say that the first three fruits: love, joy, peace are our relationship with the Father. The last three fruits: faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are our relationship with ourselves. Patience, kindness, and goodness, the middle three fruits, should exemplify our relationship with others. It is by our ‘fruit’ that people know that we serve God. According to Galatians, there is ‘no law’ against being kind (Galatians 5:22-23).
Kindness isn’t just being nice. Anyone can be nice to please, flatter or manipulate another person. Kindness rooted in the Hebrew word chesed which means ‘loving kindness.‘ God’s ‘loving kindness’ brought salvation to the world through Yeshua (John 3:16). His ‘loving kindness’ covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). ‘Loving kindness’ should come from a genuine desire of caring for another person no matter what or how we feel. ‘Loving kindness’ should come from a peaceful and joyful relationship with our Father, a faithful, gentle and self-controlled relationship with ourselves that freely flows to other people whether the situation in our life is pleasant or full of strife.
The ‘loving kindness’ of God will bring healing to the wounds from a friend or a broken relationship. The ‘loving kindness’ of God will bring life to a dying heart or suffering soul. ‘Loving kindness’ will resolves issue of sin or misunderstanding. ‘Loving kindness’ on our tongues is a testimony to His ‘loving kindness.’
‘Loving kindness’ is proof that God’s Spirit is living me. ‘Loving kindness’ is the evidence that as His child, I understand, accept, and exemplify His ‘loving kindness’ to others (Acts 20:32). ‘Loving kindness’ is that beautiful daisy that stands out in a sea of grass.
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