Love is Kind | God is Kind by Rev. Shine.P Thomas
What is it to be Kind?
Do people look at us as kind people?
A wealthy man was going for his evening walk when he saw two men eating grass by the roadside. He stopped by and asked them, ‘Why are you eating grass?’ ‘We don’t have any money for food,’ the men replied. ‘Oh, well, you can come with me to my house,’ instructed the man. But, sir, I have a wife and two children with me!’ ‘Bring them along!’ he replied. Suddenly the other man asked, ‘Sir, I have a wife and six children.’ ‘Bring them as well’ replied the rich man. As they were walking to the rich man’s house one of the poor guys said: ‘Sir you are so kind and merciful. Thank you for taking all of us with you.’ The wealthy man looked at them and replied: ‘I’m glad to do it. You’ll love my place where the grass is almost a foot tall.
What comes to your mind when you think of the word ‘kindness?’ Do people look at us as kind people? Can kindness be practiced in a self-centered world?
We are doing a series on love based on 1 Corinthians 13, and last week we saw the importance of love. This morning we are going to study on the subject ‘kindness.’
1 Corinthians 13:4
Love i patient, love is kind. Paul tells us that love is patient and love is kind.
Webster’s dictionary defines kindness as favor, mercy, sympathy, compassion, goodness of heart etc. So kindness is basically an expression of love or love practiced in action.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus demonstrated love expressed in kindness.
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
When you closely study this parable, we find when it comes to peoples’ need, when it comes to exhibiting kindness people react differently.
Man’s Response when it comes to Expressing Kindness
1. The selfish and unfriendly people
People are selfish and unfriendly when it comes to others needs. The robbers in this story represent the selfish and unfriendly. Such people are only interested in what they want. They will climb the latter of success regardless of whom they have to step on doing whatever it takes to get what they want. They say, “If I want money and position then I will do whatever I want to have it.”
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? Such people are quarrelsome; they fight to fulfill their desires.
2. The indifferent
The priest and the Levite represent the next two types of people. While one would expect both of these to have offered to help because of their religious standing, they passed by.
The indifferent type of people lacks a heart of compassion. The indifferent won’t attack you when your down, but they won’t offer you a hand to get up either. They ignore you and just pass by minding their own business, they do not want to take risk, they have the ‘I can’t help it’ attitude. They say, “If I stop to help, I’ll be late for work. I can’t give because I do not have enough.”
Expressing kindness is not all that easy. We all come across situations on a regular basis where we can be kind but many times we do not capitalize those opportunities and behave like ordinary people.
A couple of months back Glory and I took our children on a train ride from Cantonment to Majestic and came back in bus just to give them a change and also to teach them difficulties of people without a vehicle. As we were standing in the Majestic Bus Station platform my eyes went to a man who was begging. A lot of people were waiting for bus and I was observing the attitude of people towards a needy beggar. Ninety-five percent of the people did not bother him, they did not even notice the beggar; they were so busy and preoccupied. Some saw the man but hardened their hearts. Yet others felt compassionate, checked their pockets, and did not have a rupee coin, so they did not bother. A very few of them threw some changes to him. Do you see how people react to a needy man?
Note: There are many reasons for people not helping a beggar but I am just enlightening you man’s usual response to a need.
3. The Kind and Compassionate
The Samaritan in the story is kind & compassionate. Let’s study the Good Samaritan’s kindness.
The kindness of the Good Samaritan
Luke 10:33-35 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
1. Kindness does not seek recognition
What was the Good Samaritan’s name? Jesus doesn’t tell us. The Good Samaritan does not seek anyone to show his good act of kindness. The Samaritan is content to remain unknown.
Our kindness is not to elevate our reputation or make us look good in the eyes of other people. Real kindness does not seek to find self glory; instead, kindness gives glory to God.
2. Kindness takes action
The Samaritan did not pass by or ignore the one in need. The Samaritan took action to do what he could to help the wounded man. Kindness is doing what is needed. Remember love is kind; in other words, love takes action and finds its expression through kindness. Kindness will give, kindness will share, and kindness supplies what is lacking or needed.
An elderly lady always went to the local post office because the employees were so friendly. Once as she was waiting in a long line to buy stamps, the man in line behind her said, “Mamma there’s no need for you to wait in line; you can buy your stamps at the machine.” The old woman said, “I know, but the only action the machine could do was to give stamps. When I take stamps from the employees, they ask about my breakfast, they enquire about my health. I do not want to miss the kindness they show me.”
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
3. Kindness will put others first
The Samaritan didn’t worry about his schedule for the day. He didn’t think about himself but put the needs of the wounded man ahead of himself. Not only did the Samaritan give off his resources, but he also gave his time. Putting others first also means willing to give our time.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. In simple language Paul tells us: “Have you been living only for yourself? Stop it! Think of others and share with those in need.” Kindness will put others first.
4. Kindness takes risk
The Samaritan did not stop to consider if the robbers were still hiding behind the rocks or what if it is all a trap and the Samaritan becomes the victim? The Samaritan was willing to put his possessions and even his life at risk to offer kindness to the one who was in need.
The kindness of God was that he took risk to come into the sinful world. God knew if Jesus took the sin, Jesus had to die. For Jesus the risk was his death, He was not worried about the price. That’s what kindness does; it takes risk.
The Samaritan’s risk also involved his finances. He didn’t examine the man’s wounds and then calculate the cost. The Samaritan was willing to pay the price and do whatever it took to help the man in need. Wine was poured on the wounds to purify and prevent infection; oil was added to comfort and soothe. The Samaritan paid for the man’s care at the inn; he paid the price! The price was paid even without the guarantee that the man would repay it back after recovery. Kindness pays the price regardless of the outcome.
Since kindness involves our time, money, resources etc; sometimes kindness can be vulnerable. You are kind to people and you can end up losing your money. You are kind and they misunderstand your intentions or you are kind and people take you for granted.
I heard the story of a blind girl who hated herself just because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving friend. He was always there for her. She said that if she could only see the world, she would marry him. One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her and she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend. Her boyfriend asked her, “now that you can see the world, will you marry me?” The girl was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend is blind too, and refused to marry him. Her boyfriend walked away in tears, and later wrote a letter to her saying. “Just take care of my eyes dear.” Aw, how sad, kindness can be vulnerable.
I know many of you have gone out of your way and been kind to people, maybe all that you have got is rejection and a bad name, you feel let down by people. Do not worry, this is the how kindness works, that is the price you pay for being kind. Jesus was kind to the world but the world took him to the cross. I want to encourage you to continue in kindness as our kindness is duly rewarded by God.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor (God is asking us to be kind). Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. Kindness is rewarded by God.
In short, kindness does not seek recognition, kindness takes action, kindness puts others first, and kindness takes risks. So how do we expression kindness? To whom are we to be kind? Let’s study the kindness exhibited by God.
The Kindness of God
What is the kindness of God like?
1. God is kind to sinners
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. Now, who is it that God is drawing to Him with loving-kindness, the righteous or the good? The people in the text are the Israelites and God is extending them kindness after they have rebelled against the Him and turned away from Him. God is kind to the sinners. God was even kind to us when we were in our sins.
2. God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he (God) is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Jesus doesn’t tell us to love our friends and treat them nicely. He says love your enemies! Why? Because that is what God’s kindness is like. God is kind to the ungrateful – those who take God’s kindness for granted. God is kind to the wicked – those who turn their back upon God and despise Him.
3. God’s kindness does not discriminate
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
The kindness of God does not discriminate! God does not treat His enemies differently than He treats His friends.
The kindness of God to us should encourage us to continue in his kindness.
Consider therefore kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Kindness can be expressed in all shapes and sizes
Tony Campolo the spiritual advisor to President Bill Clinton tells about an incident that happened to him on his way to work. Walking to work in the footpath, Tony would often pass by a number of homeless people. From time to time, they would make requests for money; generally, he ignored them. One day a bag lady, whom he had seen before asking for help came out of a donuts shop with a steaming hot cup of coffee. Their eyes met and Tony forced a smile. Putting down her coat and bags she called out, “Hey mister, would you like a sip of my coffee?” If we were Tony how would we respond? Keep waking and ignore her? That’s what Tony did, or at least he started to. A half a block away, he turned back around and said,
“Hey lady! Yes, I would like a taste of your coffee.” She held out the cup with her dirty hand; he took the cup and sipped what had to be the most delicious cup of coffee he had tasted in a long time. “Isn’t it good,” she said. “Yes it is good! thank you. By the way, why did you offer me your coffee?” “Because it was so good, I thought someone might like to share it with me and enjoy it too.” Kindness can be expressed in all shapes and sizes, yet regardless of how big or small, all appreciate a kind act in love.
Let’s take a look at our lives today. Am I selfish and unfriendly? Am I indifferent to the need of others? Or am I kind and compassionate? Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the condition of our hearts to us so we can be transformed to produce the fruit of kindness in our lives.