A kind word or act will stand out and be remembered long after a time of crisis, tragedy, pain, or suffering. No doubt, you could create your own list (and maybe you should) of the many ways someone was kind to you.
A simple gesture makes a powerful impact that often touches the deepest parts of our souls. And what makes kindness the greatest gift is that it is freely given without expectation of anything in return.
The Apostle Paul included kindness in his description of love, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant” (1 Corinthians 13:4) and encouraged older women to teach this attribute to the young (Titus 2:3-5), perhaps this is because kindness counts and is a reflection of God Himself.
“The LORD is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds” (Psalm 145:17).
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men” (Luke 6:35).
“He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will…He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him” (Ephesians 1:5,9).
Kindness means being merciful, gracious, doing good, lending to others expecting nothing in return (even to our enemies), tender-hearted, forgiving, not quarrelsome, teachable, and patient when wronged.
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).
“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged” (2 Timothy 2:24).
These attributes do not come naturally, so they must be taught (and practiced). Instead of allowing a bitter root to grow because of your difficult circumstances, allow God to soften your heart and use your experience in receiving kind gestures to kindly help others.
Part of giving away kindness is that it is just that, a gift. But God sees and rewards. “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward” (Matthew 10:42).
Kindness is contagious, but more than that, you will discover that giving away kindness is a gift to yourself because of the joy it brings. Try it out!