I awakened one morning a few days ago, and the first thought that popped into my mind were the words, “Christians need a rebirth of kindness.” I was immediately arrested in my thoughts and began to examine my own life, and though I’ve always considered myself kind, I realized as I studied this beautiful virtue that kindness is part of the nature of God Himself and beautifully illustrated in the life of Jesus. I really needed to learn about kindness…..my world desperately needs it right now.
Is kindness a boring subject? I don’t think so and if you do, then let me admonish you in all kindness; you might just need a “kindness infusion” that will not only help you survive this sin diseased world but actually make you flourish in it. Here are some things I learned about kindness in my studies…..
Kindness isn’t a sign of weakness, but it emanates from the extremely strong. Jesus told the story in Luke 10 of a poor traveler, who on a journey through the rugged desert between Jerusalem and Jericho, was set upon by cruel thieves who robbed him, stripped him of his raiment, and severely wounded him, leaving him for dead.
A priest passed by, the religious elitist, but never stopped to help, most likely fearing for his own safety and not wanting to lower his dignity, a true weakling who cared more for position than compassion. A Levite came by, the supposed most holy tribe in Israel, but he passed by. When our self-righteousness overcomes any love or compassion in us, that is the self-righteousness that stinks in God’s nostrils.
Finally a Samaritan passed by. He was considered by the society of that day to be the lowest of the low, despised in the world of religiosity especially. But he stopped, bound up the poor wounded man’s wounds, pouring in oil and wine upon them for their healing effect, placed him upon his beast, and took him to an Inn to heal. He would tell and pay the Innkeeper to take care of him and stated that he would pay all bills upon his return. Jesus would then say this Samaritan was the true neighbor.
I wish I could go back in my life and be kind in situations where I failed in the exercise of that virtue, but the cruelty of time is that it passes and is gone forever. Kindness is current and not retroactive. I must be kind today and plan to be kind tomorrow and for the rest of my lifespan.
A few years ago, I was in a long prescription line at Walmart that seemed to last forever. Finally, there was only one old gentleman front of me, and I could hear the conversation between him and the clerk. She said, “I’m sorry, sir, you don’t have enough here to pay for this prescription” I heard him say, “ But my wife has to have it.” The clerk said I’m sorry, and he walked off.
I thought, “finally my turn,” but as I stepped up, the Holy Spirit said, “Go find him and give him all the money you’ve got; it will be enough.” I thought, “God, I’ve been in line 25 minutes”, but God said go, and I told that clerk as she looked puzzled, “I’ve got to go.”
He wasn’t in the store, but I found him in the parking lot by his old car on his wife’s side with her window rolled down. They were both crying. I took out all the money from my billfold, walked up to him, handed it to him, and I’ll never forget what I told him….”Here, sir, Jesus sent you this.” I then turned and walked away. It was one of the finest moments of my life. God was so good to give me a “kindness window.”
Life is cruel and hard right now. Cynicism and unbelief in goodness are everywhere. We Christians are to be a light in a dark place. This world needs our kindness. They are dying for lack of kindness and compassion. We are Jesus’s people; we are to bind up wounds, not make them. Please, God, give us a revival of kindness.
“Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee.” Psalms 63:3
Now that is the truth.
Dr. David M. Griffis