God is Kindness, He is kind
by Gini Crawford, MSW
The One True God is kind. His character illustrates kindness. Kindness is the character or disposition of a person that exemplifies good or goodness, does what is needed for a person, has a willingness to help, has no harshness but gentleness, graciousness, and generosity. When someone's character is kind, that person naturally gives grace. A kind person is a good-natured person.
In the Gospels we see a dramatic living picture of the kindness of God being lived out in Jesus: He did what was needed to bring salvation; He was the embodiment of good, and acted in goodness; He was gentle and patient in His dealings; He generously provided and gave grace upon grace. (John 1:16-18, 6:1-14, 10:7-16, 13:1-15, 18:1-11, 19:23-30, 20:11-20).
...if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 1 Peter 2:3 NASB®
About every morning, I see the definition of kindness on my walk: A good-natured elderly couple gently guides their blind daughter as she walks with them. All three of them are gracious people, who say "hi" to everyone who passes. It makes my day. Do you enjoy kindness? I sure do!
God's kindness described
God's kindness purposely brought salvation to us. God couldn't be our God if His character wasn't utterly kind, as well as completely merciful, loving, gracious, patient and forgiving. As you can guess, if God's character was only one of holiness, justice, and righteousness, we would be helplessly bound to pay for our own sins in hell. Yet, because of Who our God is, He gladly took our punishment for our sin upon Himself. (Jonah 4:2; Hebrews 12:2) God's kindness and all His characteristics work together to give us salvation and a happily ever after future with Him. Hopeful reality, isn't it?
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 NASB®
Do you realize you and I deserved God's wrath, but instead He gave us His kindness? That makes me very determined to love and serve my God. What about you?
Eternal kindness is given to us through Christ Jesus. Human kindness seems to be a rarity in our world, but God's kindness never stops towards the world. Jesus lived out God's eternal kindness on this earth, which permitted Him to show us His grace in kindness throughout eternity. We are told in Ephesians 2:6-7, as Christians we are seated with Jesus on His throne in heaven (of course figuratively, but in reality that is how close Jesus is to us, and how sure heaven is), so that God can shower us with His grace in kindness forever.
... and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6-7 NASB®
What does it mean to you that your eternity will be spent with God and He being kind to you?
God's kindness brings repentance. Repentance involves a change of mind/heart towards God - a turning from sin to God - that leads to doing good instead of evil. Considering what we just learned about God's kindness towards us, of course His kindness should lead us to repentance. We could say, repentance is to change from a self-centered life to a God centered life. God's kindness has saved me, and changed me for the good. How about you?
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4 NASB®
God's kindness and patience lovingly waited for us to change our minds about turning to Jesus, so we would not perish but have eternal life. God's kindness wishes no one to perish so He died to give us a choice. (John 3:16-18; 2 Peter 3:3-15).
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 NASB®
Living out God's Kindness
God gave us kindness when we didn't deserve it, and His kindness saved us. Let's work hard to show kindness to others. Read Proverbs 3:1-4, 14:22; Micah 6:8; Romans 2:4; 1 Corinthians 13:4; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 2:1-3.
What do these passages say about kindness in our lives?
Describe God's kindness.
Make a list of 5 kind things you could do for family and friends.
There is a clear contrast in Ephesians 4:31-32 between mean reactions and kind reactions.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32 NASB®
The reactions in verse 31 lead to stress, discontent and a person no one wants to be around. The kind reactions in verse 32 lead to a gentle and good-natured person; who has contentment, serenity, and happiness.
Ask yourself, what type of person do you want to be? The person God wants you to be, who brings kindness, love, and forgiveness into the world, or the mean, angry and bitter type of person? You have a choice.
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