This post is all about kindness in the Bible
Kindness in the Bible is a virtue that is often praised but not always understood. We all know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of someone’s kindness, but do we really understand what it means to be kind?
In this blog post, I will explore the biblical concept of kindness and discuss some of the most inspiring examples from the Bible.
Why I’m writing this post (heartfelt)
This past Friday, 3.11.2022, at 7:38 pm, I received a message from a member of my master’s program cohort. I hadn’t spoken to her since Fall 2021. The message read, “Hey Heather, please call me when you get a chance… it’s urgent“.
I quickly excused myself from our family movie night as I called my friend. I was nervous because I knew something had happened. Then when I called, she informed me that a close friend in our cohort who interned with us passed away suddenly. 💔 I was in shock, and honestly, I’m still in shock.
As we spoke and tried to wrap our heads around the death of our friend, we had one word to describe her: kind!
Although our friend that passed was from a totally different background and faith from us, she totally spoke the universal language of kindness. She was the sweetest person, and she radiated pure warmth and love. She was quick to lend a helping hand and extend a listening ear. Even when we completed our internship, she called me and said, “Heather, I’m buying flowers for all the supervisors at our internship. I also have cards, too…but I want all of us to sign so that it’s from us as interns.” She could have easily signed the card and sent the flowers herself, but she was selfless! This is just one example of the many acts of kindness she showed!
So, as I’m typing this, my 2-year-old son is taking a nap beside me, but in all honesty…all I can think of is kindness. So, I decided to pour my heart and thoughts into this post. I have truly learned the importance of kindness from this beautiful soul. I hope this post ends up sending a ripple effect for everyone to stop and reflect on kindness.
Meaning of Kindness in the Bible
As we begin, let me give you the dictionary definition of kindness. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines it as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.” Now let’s head over to the biblical meaning.
The word kindness (and its variations) is mentioned many times in the Bible. It’s an important concept in Christianity, and it has a variety of meanings. The most basic definition of kindness is being good and doing no harm. This includes being friendly, helpful, and considerate to others. Kindness also refers to how you treat yourself. Are you gentle and loving to yourself? This is an important question to consider because how you treat yourself sets the tone for how you treat others.
When we are kind, we extend grace and mercy to others. We also show patience, forgiveness, and compassion. It’s not always easy to be kind, but it’s always worth it. Being kind will never lead you astray.
When we are kind, we glorify God and reflect His character. We also benefit from the positive effects of kindness, such as improved mental and physical health, stronger relationships, and more fulfilling life.
It’s also essential to distinguish biblical kindness from the secular definition of kindness. When you are in traffic, you will likely see a bumper sticker that says, “spread kindness and cheer,” or be kind.” It’s something that has been marketed a lot. However, there is a distinction. Biblical kindness is about doing what is right, even when it’s hard. It’s about going the extra mile and being there for people, no matter what. Biblical kindness is always rooted in love. Secular kindness is often based on tolerance. It’s “being nice” to people regardless of how you feel about them. It’s more of a façade than anything else.
Benefits of Kindness in the Bible
When we are kind, we imitate God’s character. Not only does He command us to be kind, but He also shows us what genuine kindness looks like. When we reflect His image through acts of kindness, we benefit not only others but also ourselves.
Here are some benefits of being kind from a biblical perspective:
- When we show kindness through love, we show that we are disciples of Christ
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
- Kindness is an extension of Christ’s forgiveness
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
- Kindness heals relationships.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
- Kindness is a reflection of the heart of God.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” Galatians 5:22
Developing Kindness as a Christian
Being kind is a choice we make every day. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it!
Here are some tips for developing kindness:
- Smile more often – This one is easy and free! Smiling is a universal sign of kindness, and it’s contagious. Yes! When you smile at someone, they will most likely to smile back.
- Compliment- Make a point to compliment others more often. A simple “Great job!” or “You look nice today” can brighten someone’s day.
- Listen with your full attention – When we really listen to others, it shows that we care about them and value what they have to say.
- Donate- You can also donate blood, clothes, or food to needy people.
- Volunteer your time – Volunteer your time and talents to help others. There are so many ways to do this! You can volunteer at a homeless shelter, animal shelter, senior living homes, soup kitchen or any number of other places.
- Forgive others – We all make mistakes, and we all have bad days. Forgive people when they hurt your feelings or do something that annoys you. It’s not easy, but it will make you feel better in the long run.
- Be kind even when it’s difficult – This is a big one for me. I feel like I need to pin it beside my office desk. Why? We all need to make a conscious effort to be kinder to people who are difficult to love. We all have that one person in our lives who is just hard to get along with. Maybe it’s a coworker, family member, or friend. Challenge or encourage yourself to go out of your way to be kind to that person. Do something nice for them, say something positive, or be there for them when they need it.
- Think before you speak. This one can be tough, but it’s so important! We’ve all said things that we regretted later. Before you say something, think about how it will affect the other person. If it’s not something nice, kind, or helpful, then don’t say it!
- Self-care! It’s not always easy to be kind 😢, especially to yourself. But it is so important! When you are kind to yourself, you are showing love and respect for yourself. You are valuing yourself and your own wellbeing.
- Drive-through difference: My local Christian radio station WGTS 91.9 started a chain reaction of kindness in the DC area. It’s simple- pay for the person behind you in a drive-through. A few weeks ago, I did that. I asked the attendant to pay the tab of the car behind me. I also asked them to pass the message, “God loves you.” When the car behind me heard the news, I heard honks behind me as they waved frantically and made heart shapes with their hands, “God loves you too!”. So try it, pay for the person behind you and spread the love of Jesus.
These are just a few ideas for developing kindness. 💐 The most important thing is to make a conscious effort to be kinder every day. It will make you feel better and make the world a better place.
7 Bible stories about kindness
Please note that there are numerous stories in the bible, I’m only listing seven 😊
1. Abraham shows hospitality to three strangers (Genesis 18)
In Genesis 18, Abraham shows great hospitality to three strangers who visit him. He welcomes them warmly, offers them food and drink, and provides them with a place to rest. This act of kindness is an example of what true hospitality should be. It is a selfless act that demonstrates concern for the well-being of others. This act of kindness is an example of what we should aspire to do for others. When we are kind to others, we are showing them that we care about them and their wellbeing. This act of kindness can inspire us to be more hospitable and caring towards others.
2. Rahab hides the Israelite spies (Joshua 24:17-19)
Rahab was considered a prostitute, but she showed great kindness when she helped the Israelite spies. She hid them and even lied to the authorities about what happened. This story is an example of how God rewards those who are kind to others. Despite her past, Rahab was forgiven and given a place in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
3. King David sparing Mephibosheth’s life (2 Samuel 21:7)
King David spared Mephibosheth, the son of his friend Jonathan, from being killed. When David told him the news, Mephibosheth fell on his face in shock and grief. But David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.”2 Samuel 9:7. This story is a beautiful example of David’s character.
4. Jesus healing the sick and feeding the hungry (Matthew 14:14-21)
In the story, Jesus is shown to be healing the sick and feeding the hungry. This is an example of kindness as it shows compassion for others. It also demonstrates that being kind can have a positive impact on those around you.
5. The Good Samaritan helping a stranger in need (Luke 10:25-37)
In the story, a man was robbed and left for dead. A Priest and a Levite walked by him, but did not stop to help. A Samaritan, however, stopped to help the man. He bandaged his wounds and brought him to an inn where he could recover. The Samaritan paid for the innkeeper to take care of the man.
The story teaches us that we should help others, even if they are strangers. We should also be willing to go out of our way to help others. We should show compassion and mercy, even to those who do not deserve it.
6. Zacchaeus gave half of his possessions to the poor (Luke 19:1-10)
Zacchaeus was a rich man who had become very greedy. He was not kind to others and only cared about himself. However, after meeting Jesus, he changed his ways and became a generous and kind person. He gave half of his possessions to the poor, which showed how much he had changed. Zacchaeus’ story is a great example of how kindness can change a person for the better.
7. The woman who poured perfume on Jesus’ feet (Matthew 26:6-13)
One biblical example of kindness is when a woman poured perfume on Jesus’ feet. (Many believe that the lady is Mary Magdalene). This act of kindness shows us that we should be willing to serve others, even if it means going above and beyond what is expected. It also teaches us the importance of showing respect, love and honor to those who are in authority over us. When we are kind, we not only bless those around us, but we also receive blessings in return.
Short Bible Verses about kindness.
Kindness is a virtue that is praised throughout the Bible. Here are some verse examples:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) – This verse reminds us that our words have the power to harm or help others.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) – This verse tells us that we should imitate God’s example and forgive others.
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Luke 6:35 (NIV) – This verse tells us that being kind to our enemies is a sure way to emulate God.
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” Proverbs 3:27 (NIV) – This verse reminds us that we should always do what we can to help others, especially if they are in need.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” Galatians 5:22 (NIV) – This verse tells us that kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. As Christians, we should strive to have the Spirit’s qualities in our lives.
And that’s it, folks, kindness in the Bible!
As I wrap up, I encourage you to look for ways to be kinder, not just to others but also yourself. It’s often said that the best way to change someone else is by changing how we interact with them. When we are kind and loving, it opens up the door for others to do the same. And as we all know; a little kindness can go a long way.
I pray that this post has blessed you.