“Kindness is a language which the dumb can speak and the deaf can understand.”
C. N. Bovee
“Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.” J. W. von
“Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.” Joseph Joubert
“Kindness does not operate well under the spotlight; it is fleeting and fast, shared
with a smile, a word, a touch. Kindness is not rehearsed or premeditated; it
happens because one has kindness to give, not because kindness is needed.” Eldon
“Kindness also produces tact – that is, the ability to smooth over awkward
situations to say or do the thing that will ease a tense situation or avert an
unpleasant scene. If courtesy is the everyday coin of kindness, then tact is the
gold.” Eileen Guder
Chrestotes – in secular Greek this word is used to characterize persons who are
honest, respectable, and worthy. It can also mean kindness, friendliness, or
mildness. The Hebrew word for kindness in the Old Testament is “hesed,” which
is translated “steadfast love,” “unfailing kindness,” “loving-kindness,” or simply
“love,” or “kindness.” In most Old Testament passages, “hesed” refers to God’s
kindly disposition or action toward us. Paul is the only New Testament writer to
use “chrestotes;” in his writings it denoted God’s gracious attitude and action
toward sinners. See Titus 3:4-7 as an example. Paul also uses the same word to
refer to how the great experience of God’s kindness works itself out in our
kindness to others. See Colossians 3:12 and 2 Corinthians 6:6.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
1. Read Psalm 103. According to verses 2-5, what kind and loving things has
God done for us?
2. How is God’s loving-kindness revealed in the way He treats those who have
sinned? Cf. Psalm 103:8-12.
3. Reflect on the ways God’s loving-kindness has been shown to you according
to Psalm 103. In what specific ways could you imitate His kindness in your
relationships with others?
4. Are you ever tempted to treat some people better than others? Who? Why?
In what sense does Jesus’ statement in Mark 9:37 obliterate such distinctions?
5. How has the kindness of God been clearly expressed according to Ephesians
2:7 and Titus 3:4-7?
6. Why does the Lord’s kindness extend even to those outside the faith? See
7. The Lord tells us to put on kindness as His new creations in Colossians 3:12.
How can the fruit of kindness influence others for Christ? See 2 Corinthians
6:3-10, especially verse 6.
8. For a classic example of kindness see the story of King David and
Mephibosheth (son of Jonathan) in 2 Samuel For background on David and
Jonathan’s relationship see 1 Samuel 18:1-4, 19:1-5, and 20:1-23. What
motivated David to find Mephibosheth and show him kindness? 2 Samuel 9:3
may help you answer.
9. Ask the Lord to allow the fruit of kindness to grow freely within you.