As God’s children we should be known for the love we have for God and other people. We should be known for the grace we show to those in our church community as well as those outside our church community. We should be known as a people who act out that love and grace through demonstrations of kindness.In 1 John 3:18 Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds. TPT
There is really no limit in the ways we can live out this verse because kindness is love in action.
We can experience and demonstrate kindness from three different perspectives – up, in and out. In other words how we demonstrate kindness which comes from God
, how we demonstrate kindness to each other inside our own church community
as well as how we demonstrate kindness out to those across our city who don’t know Jesus yet
One of the things that people often ask is – Is God Kind. People may think God is not kind is because what we see either in the Bible or in life does not match with what we consider kindness looks like. If God is kind then He would feed the starving children across the world. If God is kind then He would provide what we need, answer our prayers or do what we want Him to do.
However, the problem with that line of thinking is that it results in hurt and disappointment, making us take a particular course of action. Many give up on the church, on God and on Jesus for that reason. It can wound our heart and often crush our spirits.Prov 18:14 A healthy spirit conquers adversity, but what can you do when the spirit is crushed? The Message
When our spirit is crushed, we experience a range of feelings and emotions toward Him and people.Feelings of Bitterness
– that unrelenting hostility or resentment toward someone. It comes from never fully processing and moving on from a situation that harmed us.Un-forgiveness
– When we’ve been wounded, we often refuse to grant forgiveness because we feel like it is letting people or even God off the hook for the things they have or have not done.Sarcasm
is one of the more subtle, socially acceptable ways wounded people can express themselves. Often masked in humour, but sarcasm can range from friendly little jabs at someone to deliberately tearing someone down with words and those words can even become slanderous.Negativity
– It does not matter how good the idea might be, when we have a wounded spirit we always find something to fault with the idea that a person puts forwardApathy
– We can be wounded to a point where we give up. Easier to disengage. As a result, we can become numb to the needs of others.
The church is a community of people. This means people may hurt us but that does not mean God is not kind. The very same community is where you can find the greatest level of love, healing, grace, forgiveness, peace and acceptance; the greatest demonstrations of God’s kindness -1. God is kind and he demonstrates that kindness through people
– maybe even the people you would least expect.
In Lk 10:30-37 who was kind in this story of the Good Samaritan? Why? Because he “saw” the Bible says- he saw the need and did something about it.
Someone said “Kindness means you have been/or are seen and you know you are seen because something actually gets done.”
We sometimes walk around with our eyes closed to what is going on around us – maybe because we do not want to see, we think do not have time to see, we are not open to see.
If kindness is seeing and doing something about it then as God’s people, He puts things in our path that He wants us to see so we can do something on His behalf. People equate God’s kindness to be in line with the kindness of His people2. Kindness is at the very heart of who God is
God’s kindness is described in the Bible from the Old Testament right through to the New
Nehemiah 9:17, Gal 5:22 Eph 2:7, 1 Cor 13:4, Tit 3:4-6. At his very heart is love and He demonstrates His love through His kindness toward us, Romans 5:8.3. God is kind but kindness is an action
We should continually demonstrate God’s kindness in our homes, in our work places, in our teams, in our relationships. The actor Morgan Freeman asks the question - “How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.” Busyness is the curse of our time; we become so busy that we do not see what is going on around us.
We can all do something – people make their mind up about God because of what they see in us – let us show His heart, which is truly one of love and kindness toward peopleDiscussion Questions
1. Kindness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. How can we grow in this in our lives?
2. Share an experience(s) of the three perspective of kindness: upward, inward and outward.
3. Kindness can lead a person to repentance - do you have a story to share?
4. What are some of the things that you as an individual or a group do to perform at least one random act of kindness? Check out our website for some ideas.