Last time we were reassured of God’s kindness, especially his mercy and forgiveness, even when we don’t deserve it. If you missed it, you can read it here.
This week we discover how trusting in God’s kindness shown to us enables us to be kind to others.
Kindness is an attribute of God and should be an attribute of humans, but often this is not the case.
People can be unkind and, I’m sure you will agree with me in saying that, sometimes we are not kind even when we know we should be. We can experience unkindness in our families, with our friends, and, sadly, within our church family.
David, we have learned, had many enemies. He knew what it was like to suffer unkindness and be treated unfairly, particularly by King Saul who he had served well and faithfully. However, David shows us the example of being kind to even our “enemies.”
Saul pursued David relentlessly in order to kill him. But, then David had the opportunity to take Saul’s life. Instead, he cut off the corner of Saul’s cloak and in a verbal exchange, let Saul know how close he had come to death. (1 Samuel 24).
David showed kindness to Saul because God had anointed Saul as King. And David continued to show kindness to Saul’s family, because of an oath he made to Saul and his close friendship with Jonathan, Saul’s son, which continued even when David became king ( 2 Samuel 9:3). After all David had suffered as a fugitive under the reign of Saul, David gives us an example of how to honor God by showing kindness.
The Bible tells us that reflecting God’s kindness is important. You can read those instructions here: Micah 6:8 MSG (see below), Matthew 5:44-45 MSG, Ephesians 4:32 NLT, Colossians 3:12
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love.Micah 6:8 MSG
Being kind is not always easy to do. We often want to return acts or words of unkindness with unkindness. We think it lets those who are unkind off the hook and gives them the opportunity to continue with unending unkindness.
God has shown you unfailing kindness through his mercy and forgiveness. When you know of God’s kindness, then it becomes easier to show kindness to other people.
When we struggle to be kind, we can ask for help from the Holy Spirit. We can find the strength to be kind to those who are undeserving because God gives us the power to do so.
Pray for God’s help in showing kindness to your neighbors, leaders, and those in your church family. Ask God to show you one way you can be kind today which will make a difference to that person’s day, just like God’s kindness has transformed your life.
Lord God, when I think about your kindness I realize how quickly I neglect to show the same kindness to others. I can be unkind and selfish. Lord, I am sorry. Show me one way I can be kind today to someone I love, to someone I meet on the street, in the store, to someone who lives next door or across the street, and most of all to those who are my family in Christ. Amen