A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. ~Proverbs 12:10
Kindness is the demonstration of courtesy, gentleness, goodness, grace, sympathy, tenderness, and thoughtfulness to others. When I was child, it was common for a man to give up his seat on the bus for a woman, whether elderly or young. It used to be common for men to extend a hand to help a woman carry her groceries, books, or anything that appeared heavy. However, even in Christian circles, kindness seems to be a vanishing virtue. Solomon makes a powerful statement that defines a key characteristic of a righteous man: his kindness.
We see the comprehensive EXHORTATION.
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;” Col. 3:12. Our greatest application of our Christian faith is how we deal with and minister to other people. Our sinful nature would rather be contentious than to be considerate. It would rather be mean than to minister. In Col. 3:12, Paul lists five virtues that all revolve around the same idea. He is exhorting us to be thoughtful, humble, and considerate of other people. How they receive us is not the issue at hand. What is important is how we treat and minister to other people. Each of the virtues he gives us revolves around being kind and helpful. We are to put on kindness in the same way we put on our clothes and shoes. Kindness is to be exhibited in our speech, our serving, our going the extra mile, and our identification of the needs of other people.
We see the contrasted EXAMPLE.
“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” Solomon said that a characteristic of a righteous man is his tender care for his animals. It’s amazing how caring people are to their pet dogs, cats, birds, and fish. Farmers are very caring about their cattle, horses, sheep, and chickens. However, in his contrast, he says that the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. A wicked person does not have an ounce of kindness in him. Selfishness and indifference breed unkindness. Kindness comes from a heart that is helpful. Kindness in our hearts drives us to do something for other people. When Paul and the 275 men that were with him were shipwrecked on Melita, we are told that the barbarous people showed “no little kindness” to them. In other words, kindness in their hearts drove them to helpful action. As Christians, kindness should spring from our hearts without a second thought whenever the opportunity arises.
We see the commanded EXERCISE.
“By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,” II Cor. 6:6. More than any other trait, kindness is an inseparable part of living and ministry for every believer. The parable of the Good Samaritan condemned the selfishness of the Levite and priest, and lauded the involvement and kindness of the Samaritan. To be absent in the exercise of kindness is a black eye to the Christian faith. We must make it our practice to exercise kindness in our words. Don’t forget that “please,” “pardon me,” may I,” and “thank you” are courtesies that should not escape us. We must make it our practice to be first responders to any and all who need help. Even to those who are mean and ugly to us, we must minister with longsuffering and kindness. When we exercise kindness, we open a door for getting the gospel to a hardened sinner. When we exercise kindness, we help an immature Christian see how real Christianity is patient, longsuffering, and helpful.
Don’t let kindness be a vanishing virtue in your life. Are there people that you can exercise kindness to? Don’t let your kindness be shrouded. Be kind!
Have a kindhearted God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezekiel 31-33