Why is Kindness so Random?
Chuck Allen, Lead Pastor
Colossians 3:12, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
It’s been said that “kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” I agree with that…but I also believe that kindness is both an action and an attitude! It starts as a choice to put on the attitude of kindness and results in an action of grace.
Notice the word “clothe”. The Greek word literally means put on. When you wake up in the morning and decide what to wear, you should ask yourself, “What kind of attitude am I going to wear today?” The Scriptures say that kindness is a choice. It’s something you can choose to “put on” everyday.
Kindness is love in action. Kindness is something you do because it’s alive in you. Kindness is a practical expression of love. It’s visible and active, not just emotional.
I know people who seem to be naturally kind and I know folks – like me – that God is still refining to create in me a kind soul. I have days where I feel like it’s easier to be kind than others – don’t you? I mean, if I’m not up against a deadline or my schedule doesn’t include back to back to back to back meetings, or maybe if I’m away on vacation…those days seem to allow kindness to well up in me a little easier than…well, you know Those Days!
But for many of us, kindness seems to be a rare and dying species of actions. So m,Utah so that when we experience it, we are completely baffled by it! So over the next few weeks, we thought that unpacking a little better understanding of personal kindness might be beneficial…maybe even life-altering…But, like I said, it’s a choice – your choice to put on the shirt of kindness each day.
So, why should we be kind? Two reasons:
1. We should be kind because God is kind to us.
Ephesians 2:8, “Because of His kindness you have been saved through trusting Christ.” Here’s an A-Ha! – Grace and kindness always go together. It’s like cuff and link, Bullwinkle and Rocky, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Batman and Robin, Justin Bieber and girl jeans, Georgia Tech and losing records.
2. We should be kind because we want others to be kind to us.
Matthew 7:12, “Do to others what you would have them do to you.”
Proverbs 21:21, “Be kind and honest and you will love a long life; others will respect you and treat you fairly.”
Proverbs 11:17, “Your own soul is nourished when you are kind; it is destroyed when you are cruel.”
These are pretty compelling reasons, but seriously…why is kindness so random? If we need grace and kindness where do we look for it? How many times have we said “what the world needs…are what she ought to do is…or their problem is…It seems to be so easy to find fault with this world, when the real challenge might be in serious introspection of our own lives. If we want a kinder workforce, it starts with us. If we want a kinder church, it starts with us. If we want a kinder school, it starts with us…on and on and on. Let’s simplify this to its lowest common denominator:
A Kind Person Is Sensitive
They are aware of the needs of the people around them.
Philippians 2:4 says, “Each of you should “look” not to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Kindness always starts with noticing the needs and hurts of others.
I really do believe that it is impossible to be “sensitive” to the needs of others and “selfish” at the same time.
Too often in our relationships, the root of many problems is insensitivity….which breeds a lack of kindness. We can become calloused and then we stop listening. One of the first signs of kindness being minimized in our life is when we stop listening to our spouses and our children. You see, when we choose kindness, we convey value. When we convey value, we convey love.
Do you remember the definition of love is? Scripture and our hearts shout out that God is love!
A Kind Person Is Supportive
Kindness always includes encouragement. THE ATTITUDE AND THE ACTIONS THAT IDENTIFY KIND PEOPLE IS ALWAYS ENCOURAGING – NOT DEFLATING. One of the best ways to be “supportive” is by our speech.
- Building people up rather than tearing them down.
- Watch what you say to people.
- Speak kindly, Proverbs 15:4 says, “Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit”.
- What do your words convey? A wrecking ball or a helping hand?
Proverbs 10:32 says: “Righteous people know the kind thing to say, but the wicked are always saying things to hurt”.
Righteous people say the right things. It’s always right to be kind!
Kind people don’t embarrass others.
How supportive are you with your words?
- Do you encourage or discourage with your words?
- Do you brag on your kids or do you nag them?
- Do you lift up or tear down?
If God gave you a dollar for every kind word you said and took away a dollar for every unkind word you said, would you be rich or poor? We often don’t know that we are in a season of “just saying what needs to be said…even when we don’t know what we’re talking about.
Here’s a great lesson that I seem to learn the hard way – Contemplate before you communicate.
Take a look at Proverbs 16:21-24 “The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive. Discretion is a life-giving fountain to those who possess it, but discipline is wasted on fools. From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive. Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
A Kind Person Is Sympathetic
A third characteristic of a kind person is the ability to be sympathetic. When someone is experiencing a crisis and you don’t know what to say, you don’t have to say anything. Just being there is an expression of kindness.
Romans 12:15 says, “When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad share their sorrow.”
2 Timothy 2:24, Paul says that kindness is a mark of spiritual leadership.
The supreme example of a sympathetic person is Jesus.
- In John 11:35 we read that Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus.
- Jesus was not afraid to show emotion.
- Jesus is the embodiment of kindness.
You MUST be kind if you want to be like Christ.
A Kind Person Is Clear, not cute
Sometimes kindness means being honest…and honest help is always in love.
Proverbs 24:26. “An honest answer is the sign of true friendship.
We tend to sugarcoat kindness. We don’t realize that sometimes kindness means telling the painful truth.
At times, Kindness is caring enough to confront.
Well Chuck, How do you know when to confront? How do you know when to be tough rather than tender with people? Ask yourself two questions: 1) Am I really committed to this person’s best interest? 2) Do I plan to stick around and help my friend work on the change?
Kindness involves a commitment to others whom you care about.
Rules for being truthful in love:
- Compliment in public.
- Confront in private.
- Correct when up.
- Comfort when down.
A Kind Person Is Spontaneous
Don’t wait to show kindness. Do it while you have the opportunity. Do it now. Be Spontaneous.
Look at Galatians 6:10, “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers.”
Notice the phrase “as we have opportunity.” When should we be kind? Whenever we have the opportunity!
When it comes to kindness, good intentions don’t count.
Scripture says when you’ve got the opportunity to be kind, be spontaneous. and do it. The classic example in spontaneous kindness in Scripture is the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-35). Notice the “Ministry of Kindness in this parable:
Compassion v. 33“…and when he saw him he had compassion on him.”
Remember, compassion’s conduct is kindness.
Contact v. 34 “And went to him…” Kindness is active not passive. It is not just “emotional.”
Care v. 34 “…and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. Kindness is practical and personal.
Cost v. 35 ““The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ Kindness costs! When the Samaritan saw the need, he didn’t think twice. He dropped everything. He was spontaneous.
Here’s the point: Jesus told us this story to remind us of all the people who are hurting around us. The question we must ask ourselves is: What is my excuse for not helping them? Why am I not a kind person?
I truly believe that the number one enemy of kindness is busyness!
In the runner-up category – selfishness, and placing third on our list – an unforgiving, critical spirit.
I want to ask you to Consider How To Be Kind this week? How could we, all 1500 of us – KINDBOMB this community?
Answer this question. How specifically can I be kinder this week?
Kindness starts with sensitivity, so be aware. Open your eyes and look around. Our world is filled with people who need kindness.
There are many ways to show kindness as there are people who need it. Let me suggest a project for you this week.
- Make a list of seven people to whom you can be kind.
- Write down how you can show kindness to each of them.
- Ask God to give you opportunity to show kindness to at least one of these people each day this week.
- You’ll be surprised how good this will make you feel. And you will probably find yourself exceeding your quota.
It’s an interesting fact of history that the Romans confused the Greek word “christos” (Christ), with the word “chrestos,” which means “kind”. See how many people you can confuse this week.
So remember This week, our goal is to reflect these 5 characteristics of Kind People:
1. Sensitive 2. Supportive 3. Sympathetic. 4. Straightforward 5. Spontaneous.
Let’s KINDBOMB our community. I’ll promise you that if you’re in a rut of anxiety, busyness, relational nightmares or personal stress, kindness is what cures the common self. Imagine a world where every person you deal with on a weekly basis were committed to being 25% kinder.
In this church, kindness alone will create a stir and a buzz of growth, health, multiplication, friendship, justice and peace as we act and react more like Jesus. Let’s KINDBOMB this place!
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