Monday, April 26, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Kindness


Kindness
A devotional by Glynis Becker

“So that in the ages to come He might show the boundless riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” 
–Ephesians 2:7-9 (NASB)

Over the last few years especially, have you noticed the trend toward inspirational sayings using the word “kindness”? Such as:

“Always be kind.”

“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

“Kindness matters.”


I’ve seen these phrases on everything from coffee mugs to bumper stickers and T-shirts to journals. Videos and stories showcasing acts of kindness go viral on the internet, resulting in both smiles and tears. If people out in the world start using words that I know through sermons and Bible study, it’s time for us to take notice. So what does kindness really mean and why is it important?

People often think of God as being harsh and cruel in the Old Testament. But time and again we read about God’s lovingkindness to the Israelites, even when they turned their backs on Him. Nehemiah 9:17b (NASB) shows this beautifully: “...But You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in mercy; And You did not abandon them.” 

David wrote many Psalms about the kindness of God, showing God’s grace to David personally and to the nation as a whole. (Psalm 36; Psalm 117)

In the New Testament, kindness is listed along with eight other attributes of a Spirit-filled Christian life in Galatians 5:22-23. A quick search of the Greek word Paul used shows me that kindness in this case doesn’t just mean being nice to people, but rather doing good for others without harshness or cruelty. Those who claim the name of Jesus Christ will show others that we truly follow Jesus when we are kind, doing good to all with no ulterior motives. It is a word of action, not just speech.

We have been shown the greatest kindness, in that while we were “enemies” of God, He came near to us (Ephesians 2:1-6, NASB). Because of that love, we can—and must—show kindness to those around us. This does not earn us anything from God, but proves we understand how great His love is to us. We should want to share kindness because we can’t help it!

The flip side of this, is that we need to be able to receive kindness from others. It can be humbling and uncomfortable to be on the receiving end, when you are usually a “giver.” Being the one to give in service to others puts us in a position of control in a way. When we are shown kindness, we need to receive it humbly, with grace and gratitude.

If we believe God has created us in His image, which includes His abounding kindness, how can we not want that same character to shine through in us? So let’s go out and be kind, loving the world in word and deed, and giving the best of what we have to everyone!

Let’s Pray: Gracious Father, please give me the opportunity to show kindness to someone today. Whether it is a small thing, or something huge you want me to do, give me the heart to do it. If I am to receive kindness from someone else, help me to do that with humility and love. I want to be a kinder person, and I want the world to be a kinder place. Help me to do my part. In Jesus’s precious name, I pray. Amen.

~*~
Author Bio:

Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume.

She has co-written several screenplays, including the film Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming.

Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two teenage children.

When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting. You can find her at www.glynisbecker.com.

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