Kindness: In Which Faith Can't Think of a Clever Title

When I sat down to try to come up with something about this, I initially had nothing. After all, aren't kindness and love kind of the same thing? What more could I say about this?

But the more I reflected on it, I realized how different they are. And that there is quite a bit more to say about kindness.

Because, see, kindness isn't just love. It requires love in order to happen, just like love requires kindness. But it's not the same thing at all.

Kindness, in short, is this: doing unto others as you would have them do to you.

While love is looking at someone and doing for them what you know they can never hope to repay, kindness can and often does look at what you'll get out of it. Not because of selfishness, but because you would want, one day, to be fed by the people in the soup kitchen to whom you volunteered your Saturday morning, if you were homeless. You would want someone to come visit you in the hospital. You want someone to really think about what they're going to get you for Christmas and show you how much they care when they give it to you.

Understand, there's no room for selfishness in kindness. You don't do it and think only of the reward. You do it for the sake of serving the person to whom you are being kind.

But at the same time, it's not so bad to think, afterward, of the fact that you've impacted more than one person. Yourself and another. Countless others, depending on who you've helped. If you talk to a girl sitting by herself and are a friend to her, you have no idea how many people you'll impact if she was, say, contemplating suicide or something and the fact that you were there convinced her not to. If you feed someone who's starving, their family won't lose them in the near future.

And if you do the ultimate act of kindness and invest your time and emotions in sharing the gospel with someone...

Well, the impact is eternal. For both you and them. Even if someone doesn't drop to their knees and profess the name of Christ the second you witness to him, the word of God does not return void.




No matter how long it takes, something will come of that witness.

Kindness gives you the ability to change someone's life. Kindness is not overrated, nor does it make you weak and foolish. It has the power to change lives, to make a difference for the kingdom of God, to gain you treasure in Heaven.

And that's what you have to remember in all of these fruits of the Spirit:

If you do them, it is for God's glory. Not yours. Don't do it so that you can hear the people around you saying, "Man, she's such a nice person!" or "That boy spends so much time helping people! Why can't my kids be more like that?" It's a struggle. I feel it all the time. It's so easy to do the right thing so that you can earn praise for yourself.

But don't fall prey to that temptation.

To God alone be the glory.

Comments

  1. As always, such a true and beautiful post. You're really doing a great job. I like the title, by the way. You always do so well with these posts. <3

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    1. You're welcome. This is so beautiful, but what adds to the beauty is that you stand up for truth in God's name. I always look forward to these posts. :)

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    2. You have no idea how encouraging your words are. Thank you so much. :)

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  2. What a great post! An excellent perspective on an often misunderstood concept! And *cough* I'm convicted by your final challenge.

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    1. Tbh, I do these in order to challenge myself. I'm glad you're challenged too- that makes me happy. We could all work on this, I think. Especially me.

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  3. Thank you for this lovely post, it was very articulate!

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  4. Beautifully said. I agree totally, that kindness and love are different. Both, equally important, of course, but different. ;) Through LOVE, we can show KINDNESS to others, and IMPACT their lives. It's all connected. <3 Thanks for sharing!

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