Displaying godly kindness
Is it more than a heartfelt letter or a helping hand when in need?
Oftentimes, kindness can be misattributed to being polite strangers, courteous to our acquaintances and friendly enough with the people of our congregation. However, kindness is more than that.
Kindness - a supernatural fruit of the Spirit
As it says in Galatians 5, kindness is one facet (out of nine) of living a life led by the Holy Spirit. It is a 'fruit' of that life (a.k.a. fruit of the Spirit). So as we said, kindness is more than we may have thought. As Christians, we are prompted to adopt this behaviour by living in humble submission to God, as opposed to the flesh or earthly desires (Romans 8:5-11). Godly kindness is a learned behavior that rewards unjust happenings with tenderheartedness and mercy. The best place to learn this behaviour is to first look at God's kindness.
Looking at God's kindness
God's kindness is best found in a study of Psalms 103. Psalm 103 describes the condition of God’s heart as “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love”. Through the next four verses, the author - King David - elaborates on God’s compassion towards mankind, emphasising that:
- God does not hold grudges (Isaiah 57:16); and
- He does not repay us in an “eye for an eye” manner.
While humans might do these things, God does not. His characteristics found in Psalm 103 shows His kindness in action, where he trades accusations with forgiveness.
God's kindness is an extension of His love
God's kindness is an extension of His agápē love. So, godly kindness is not of this world; it is supernatural. In reality, His loving-kindness comes from His love that is so hard for humans to grasp. As it says in Psalms 103:11, ‘for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us’.
Do you know someone with a big heart? Someone who intentionally goes out of their way to replace rejection, shame or guilt with immeasurably, unconditional and abundant love? God does that.
He chooses to cover our sinful mishaps with his divine agápē love (1 Peter 4:8). This is the ultimate form of kindness which inspires the godly kindness Christians are called to display in their daily lives.
God displays this ultimate form of kindness continually throughout scripture, so much so that the Holy Bible has coined a word for it: forbearance.
Who would refuse a clean slate when given the opportunity? Especially when it’s offered to us upon the condition of declaring Jesus as our one and only saviour, knowing that Jesus has God’s heart identically.
Dear our Father in Heaven,
Thank you for loving me more than anyone ever could. Thank you that your grace is sufficient for me. I am sorry for disobeying you and living apart from your ways. Please forgive me of all my sins; past, present and future.
In Jesus' name,