“Goodness” & “Kindness”
- Ephesians 4:32 / Psalm 23:6 / Romans 2:4
William Wordsworth said: “The best portion of a man’s life – his little, nameless, unremembered acts of “kindness” and love”.
Frederick Faber said: ““Kindness” has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence or learning”
There are, other quotes I could have used, but space is limited for this reflection so these two are given to get you thinking or reflecting on this week.
The first thing I would like to say is that all people can show “kindness” , because we are all made in the image of God and “kindness” is part of Gods nature. However, because of our fallen nature we also have the capacity to be unkind, unpleasant and on some occasions quite nasty and rude.
In the Bible a range of different words are used to describe both God`s “kindness” and the “kindness” Christians are called to demonstrate.
“Kindness” is “loves” conduct to others. It is how “love” behaves. It aims to bless people, it aims to help people, and it aims to encourage people. It seeks to bring light in darkness and troubled times.
To be “kind” to someone, means you help him or her; you do good, to them. Jesus in his ministry put word and action together and in our lives, “kindness” should radiate out in our actions.
Here are some key points we can take from this reflection on kindness:
Ø “Kindness” should be evident in our Christian lives – it is a fruit of the Spirit and is closely, linked to goodness.
Ø “Kindness” is not just an inner attitude it is much more – it should spill out to others because of what God is doing inside of us through the Holy Spirit. (Word & deed together)
Ø It is something that we are called to practice and nurture, in our Christian lives with the help of God`s Holy Spirit
Ø It consists of good deeds, that, are, courteously done, and which spring from the motivation of Christian (agape`) love.
Ø A mark of “kindness” is it, is not rude or critical and is the opposite of bitterness, wrath, anger, evil speaking, attention seeking and malice. (See Ephesians 4:31-32 for the contrast)
Ø As Christians, we are, called, not only to be “kind” to those who we like, but those whom we dislike and who may not even deserve it humanly speaking.
(Remember- Jesus said pray for your enemies and do good, to those who persecute you)
So, as we face this coming week, with all the unknowns, frustrations, fears, anxieties, highs and lows, let us ask God to continue working in us to bring goodness and “kindness” into ourselves. So that we can pass that onto others in whatever way seems appropriate – a smile, a letter, an e-mail, a phone call, specific prayer for someone, a helpful act and so on.
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.”