But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. (Titus 3:4-5)
There is often not a lot of kindness in the world today, is there? People are so often so busy with themselves that they rarely stop to think of others. So, when kindness is demonstrated in some way, it is all the more striking. That is why someone like Mother Teresa, who spent her life working with the destitute in the slums of Calcutta in India, seems so unusual. The worlds stops and says, "My goodness, that’s amazing!" – whereas in fact God wants it to be completely normal.
The Bible tells us that God wants us to be kind. Why? Because He Himself is kind! In fact, He is especially kind to those who don’t deserve it (which is a real challenge to our own sense of "fairness"). Jesus was the very incarnation of kindness, coming to us with kindness out of the kind heart of the Father. He spent His whole life being kind to others – healing the sick, giving hope to the hopeless, providing for the needy, setting people free from their bondages; in fact, even as wicked men were nailing Him to the cross, He was still being kind, thinking of His mother and asking John to now take care of her. All were at the receiving end of His kindness, even those who were ungrateful. When He healed ten lepers and only one came back to thank Him, He expressed His surprise – but He didn’t take their healing away from them. This is what our gracious God is like – giving His kindness freely, even to those who don’t deserve it, even to the ungrateful.
This is why Paul reminds us that "God’s kindness leads you towards repentance" (Romans 2:4). For it is as we understand how very kind God is to us that we will in pass that kindness on to others. Kindness is a promised "fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22); let’s ask Him to grow more of that fruit in us today.
Always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont