The Oxford Dictionary definition for kindness is “having or showing a tender and considerate and helpful nature.”
In Galatians Saul the religious terrorist who became Paul the Apostle of Jesus lists kindness as one of the nine traits considered to be the “fruit of the Spirit.” In 1 Corinthians 13:4 he states, “Love is patient, love is kind.” Aristotle defines kindness as “helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped”. There is quite a thin line between helping and hindering others. Help can also be the sunny side of control. Condemnation, criticism, and judgement thrive when kindness is absent. Fake this and fake that today can lead us down a street with a ruthless pursuit of truth where kindness is compromised.
In the gospels Jesus always responded kindly to broken and sinful people. He reacted unkindly towards the proud, legalistic and hypocritical. His planned kindness towards the broken woman at the well is radically counterculture. Sometimes consistent acts of kindness do more than arguments based on words or ideologies. On this anniversary of 9/11, a massively cruel day in history, consider sowing kindness, towards a stranger, or a friend.
I lead a fisherman in a salvation prayer at Castlerock beach, a few days ago. It was a bold and brave act towards a complete stranger but illustrated the heart still long’s to be saved.
Psalm 107 lines up with this 107 th blogpost – “Give Thanks To The Lord, For He Is Good, For His Loving-Kindness Is Forever.”