The Law of Kindness
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. ~Proverbs 31:26
Are you someone others would say is kind? I believe that most of us respond well to those who exercise kindness to us. I believe that most of us try to practice kindness in our interactions with others. Alexander MacLaren said, “Kindness makes a person attractive. If you would win the world, melt it, do not hammer it.” This morning, let us consider what Solomon calls “the law of kindness.”
We see the explanation.
The Hebrew word for kindness is used 248 times in the Old Testament. "Kindness" is found seven times in the New Testament. It conveys the idea of being gracious, merciful, helpful, restorative, loving, and zealous for the welfare of others. It thinks well of others and not evil. It seeks to make another person’s life easier. It builds up and does not tear down. It is constructive and not destructive. It is good-hearted and not evil-hearted in action.
We see the exercise.
The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 is described as opening her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness. First, when she speaks, she is perceived as being gentle and kind. Her words are said in a tone that is encouraging. Whatever she says is well-received because it is seen as being loving and helpful. Second, Paul describes the exercise of kindness as being “kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.” Kindness is indiscriminate in its exercise. When we exercise kindness, we make ourselves approachable. When we exercise kindness, we are automatically forgiving towards others. The exercise of kindness is real Christianity in action.
We see the example.
"And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil" (Joel 2:13). God is the highest example of kindness. His kindness is described as being great. This implies God is kind towards us even though we have sinned and been unrepentant. He is kind to us even when we repeat the same sins over and over again. He is kind to us even though we are lacking in tolerance towards others and are, even, mean-spirited. Let us not forget that the God Who saved us is of great kindness.
We see the extreme.
A mother asked her six-year-old what lovingkindness meant. "Well," he said, "When I ask you for a piece of bread and butter and you give it to me, that's kindness, but when you put jam on it, that's lovingkindness" [Chicago Tribune]. Kindness is the baseline of good Christianity. Lovingkindness is taking our Christianity to a higher level. Lovingkindness is being kind to those who humanly are undeserving of our kindness. It is responding to mean-spirited people in a way that seeks nothing but the best for them.
Are you someone who practices the law of kindness? Is the law of kindness in your tongue? Take time this morning to examine your heart and identify people you need to exercise more kindness to.
Have a kindhearted God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: John 7-8