Kindness is being gentle, thoughtful, helpful, and forgiving at times when it would be so easy to be angry.
It also displays the same virtues when the sheer inconvenience of the situation would seem to justify non involvement. Kindness much prefers considerateness to anger, and leaps enthusiastically over the barriers of inconvenience. The kind person persists in behaving humanly no matter how irresistibly circumstances may tempt him to behave otherwise.
It is only too evident that Christians should be ambassadors of kindness. As St. Paul advises in Ephesians 4:31: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Father, we are so grateful for the rope holders who’ve helped pull us out of despairing situations. Those who have given us an uplifting message, interceded in prayer on our behalf, given of their time and expertise to help us in our dilemma. We too want to be a rope holder and offer a word of encouragement, be a listening ear, and extend tender compassion and mercy to one in need. Help us to be Your hand extended to those in need we pray. Amen.
“So put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander. Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation; for you have tasted the kindness of the Lord” (1 Pet. 2:1-3).
Kindness is the honey that dulls the sting of unkindness when we receive it from another. A kind word can conquer anger, calm the spirit, and even start a friendship.
Christians should be kind. But kindness is not exclusively Christian. Rather it is as broad and old as humanity. The Greek playwright Sophocles alluded to the naturalness of kindness when he said, “Kindness gives birth to kindness.” The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius understood the personal as well as the social benefits of kindness. “Ask thyself daily,” he wrote, “to how many ill-minded persons thou hast shown a kind disposition.” Goethe viewed kindness as the “golden chain by which society is bound together.” The fact that the word kindness is derived from the Old English gecynde, meaning natural, is a good indication that kindness is a very natural virtue. Shakespeare’s immortal and oft-quoted phrase, “the milk of human kindness” (Macbeth, act 1, scene 5), also attests to the naturalness of kindness, especially with regard to its manner of nourishment.
In the contemporary world, we commonly hear reference to “random acts of kindness.” The expression was coined, presumably, to counteract “random acts of violence.” Nonetheless, acts of kindness are not fully themselves if they are random and impersonal. They should be well-placed and personal. “How truly is a kind heart a fountain of gladness,” wrote Washington Irving, “making everything in its vicinity to freshen into smiles.” No other virtue is better identified with the heart. Kindness and kindheartedness are synonymous, as are kind and kindhearted.
Small acts of watchful kindness are seldom performed in vain. And they have a marvelous proclivity for engendering successive acts of kindness. Moreover, kindness is versatile in its manner of expression. The kind look, gesture, or word can be as beneficial as the kind deed.
The expressions of kindness may be simple and undramatic. The results, however, can be decisive and most dramatic. Kindness, truly, can save lives.