It is not easy to be kind, but it is possible. Christians have the ability to be kind because of the Spirit of God that dwells in them. He is the source of kindness and it is His nature to be kind. His presence enables me to be kind even with the most difficult people.
Sometimes after we are harsh and insensitive to someone we determine to change and be kind. In spite of our sincerity we fail. No one can be kind over the long haul apart from God’s help. Our human nature is too weak to be kind to those that have been unkind to us. When we do we are telling them that we we love them for the Bible says that “charity is…kind” ( I Corinthians 13:4).
An oft-repeated truth in the Scriptures is that God is kind. It states that He was of “great kindness” to those who were discontented, ungrateful and rebellious to Him (Nehemiah 9:17). He has “everlasting kindness” (Isaiah 54:8). This means He was kind in eternity past before the creation of the world and will be so in eternity future. He was kind, is kind and will be kind to us in Heaven one day.
It is the heart of God to be kind! When we are away from Him we need not fear to return because He is kind, even “of great kindness” (Joel 2:13). God’s kindness is best seen in how He treats those that are ungrateful to Him and do evil.
“But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” (Luke 6:35)
In Heaven we will learn fully of the kindness of God in how He has cared for us. I will be amazed at the grace and goodness of God to me in ways that I am totally unaware of in this life that have been hidden from me until that time (Ephesians 2:7).
When I was in college I worked part-time to help with my bill and for spending money. My schedule on Sundays was from 1-5 p.m. The church I attended was directly across from the dining hall and so when the service was over I walked across the street for my meal, went to the dorm to change, and then drove to work.
One Sunday I went to the dining hall and there were plenty of empty places, but all of them were reserved. This meant that the empty places had chairs leaned against the table as people were saving them for friends. I walked around a while and couldn’t find a single place to sit. Everyone was talking and happy, but me.
I left the dining hall and went to my dorm, discouraged, angry and hungry. The longer I thought about it, the more self-righteous I became. I began to judge the people that were there wrongly assuming that I was the only one that had to work while in school. The truth is, I was really hungry and knew I wouldn’t be able to get anything until after church later that night.
Paula and I were engaged at the time and attending school together. Her roommate worked in the office of the Chancellor of the university , Dr. Lee Roberson. While at work I hatched a plan (in my folly and pride) on how to fix this situation where it would never happen again, to me or anyone else. That night I wrote a note by hand to Dr. Roberson and shared with him my story. I made a plea for them to have an area in the dining hall for those that had to work on Sunday afternoons where we wouldn’t have to fight for a place to sit down.
I gave it to Paula and asked her to give it to Becky to give to Dr. Roberson the next day at work. Of course, the following day was Monday and we had chapel services every week on that day. At the beginning of chapel about five minutes were given for announcements. Dr. Roberson never made announcements, but just before introducing the speaker for the morning he said, “Rick Johnson, please see me in my office today”.
He didn’t say it angrily, just in a matter-of-fact kind of way, but I wondered if my whining and complaining had not gone over well. Because I was courageous I knew when Dr. Roberson was out of his office and I went by his office during that time. When I told the secretary that he had asked me to drop by she told me he wasn’t in and after getting my name gave me an envelope with my name on it written in his distinctive handwriting.
When I returned to my room and opened it, there was my note I had written to him and a note he had scribbled at the bottom that said, “See me later about this”. Also, there was a $5 dollar bill attached to it with a paper clip. I was so humbled by his kindness in responding to an immature, complaining college student. (I still have this note). He had given his life for that institution and had sacrificed financially so I could receive an education. I was fussing about missing a meal.
I learned a lot of important truths in my classes during my college days, but one of the best lessons I ever learned was when Dr. Roberson was kind to me when I didn’t deserve it. He loved me and I knew it because of the way he treated me.
Kindness is available to every believer that would yield themselves to the Lord and be controlled by His Spirit. Intentions and determination, no matter how sincere, cannot produce kindness consistently, especially with those that are difficult to love.
The Christian life is not difficult, it is impossible. Only one Person ever lived the life a Christian should live and that was Jesus Christ. If I am to be kind, then He will have to live His life through me as I surrender my will and heart to Him. Adrian Rogers put it right when he said, “Living for Jesus is not your responsibility, but your response to God’s ability”.
I want to be kind to my dear wife, my precious children, and my family. I want to show kindness to my friends, strangers and even those that would hate me. I have a problem though; I can’t do so consistently and sometimes I don’t want to be kind, but vengeful and retaliatory.
If I am to be a kind man it won’t be because of who I am, but because of Who Christ is and my yielding my heart to Him, every day, every moment of the day.
Many years ago I was attending a pastor’s conference and someone was praying publicly to start the service. As he prayed he made a statement that touched me so deeply that I did something I had never done nor have since then. I opened my eyes while he prayed, pulled some note paper from my Bible, and wrote down what he had just said.
Here’s what he prayed, “Lord, we are not always loving or loveable, but we are always loved”. What a great truth. Because God loves me unconditionally and it is not attached to my performance I can do the same for others because He lives in me. No one has to earn my kindness. God doesn’t make me do so in order for Him to be kind to me. It is His nature to be kind.
The source of kindness is not in me, but in my great God and because of that I can be a kinder man, husband, father, son, brother, friend, and pastor. The only thing that is keeping me from doing so is my self-will and lack of dependence upon my gracious and kind God.