Kindness ~ God’s gift to us

Kindness is key November is undeniably the month of thanks. This year I’m declaring October as the month of kindness! Kindness is what’s on my heart.

I’ve had seasons where God has dropped a word in my lap and said, go figure this out, learn about it, practice it. Unity and mercy are words that have woven themselves through such seasons. In this season, it’s kindness.

Do you ever feel like life can raise its gnarly head and before you know it you’re looking a beast in the face? The world is often a harsh place to live. I imagine that is why we are moved by the kindness of others. Videos of strangers showing kindness go viral. Kindness is something we hunger for.

I don’t know about you but kind isn’t always a word that pops into my head when I think of God. Holy, powerful, righteous, often loving and good, sometimes even disapproving, harsh, or frightening. But kindness isn’t typically my go to descriptor for God.

Dictionary.com defines the word kind this way: Kind, gracious, kindhearted, kindly – imply a sympathetic attitude toward others, and willingness to do good or give pleasure. Kind implies deep-seated characteristic shown either habitually or on occasion by considerate behavior: a kind father. (Dictionary.com)

When we get right down to it, that definition is an excellent description of God. His desire to have restored relationship with us, and willingness to go to great lengths to restore that relationship is incredibly kind. He is sympathetic to our need, willing to do good, considerate.

This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
    or the strong boast of their strength
    or the rich boast of their riches,
 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
    that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
    justice and righteousness on earth,
    for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 9:23-24

I love how this passage in Jeremiah says that God “delights” in exercising kindness on the earth. It is his pleasure to be sympathetic and considerate toward all he has made. That knowledge is refreshing to me! Life can press down heavy. At times we receive and witness a lot of unkindness. To know that God delights in showing me kindness, that it’s in his nature, it’s how he is going to deal with me – is a great comfort. That knowledge can loosen my tight, and bitter fist.

I’m also intrigued that his kindness isn’t antithetical to his justice or righteousness. Kindness isn’t an indulgent, pushover attitude. It is rooted in goodness and what is right. Sometimes I wonder if we miss the kindness of God because he hasn’t indulged all of our desires. To know God’s nature is to recognize that his wisdom and goodness guide how he deals with us. He knows what is truly kind in our lives. He knows that kindness unlocks our hearts better than a slap in the face.

He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Acts 14:17

God’s kindness, stretched out over everything he has made, is compelling. When we recognize the kindness of God to send his Son to rescue us from our sinful mess, we are liberated. Knowing God will always deal with us kindly can provide a sense of security, hope, expectation, and well-being.

Looking at the circumstances of our life through the lens of God’s kindness can help us gain right perspective and avoid despair.

 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:6-8

Ultimately embracing the kindness of God through Jesus will change our lives. Kindness begins with God. The example, nature, and power of Jesus is our motivation to express kindness to others.

How have you seen the kindness of God in your life? Has receiving God’s kindness changed you in any way?

Let’s pray:
Father, life is hard, and you know it. We hunger for kindness, from you and others. Will you open our eyes to see the way you have reached out in kindness to us. Help us to see your nature clearly, and love you more deeply because of the kindness you have shown. Fill up our tank and satisfy us with you. Amen.

{Next week we’ll talk about the importance of being kind to ourselves!}

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6 thoughts on “Kindness ~ God’s gift to us

  1. So beautifully said, once again. When God didn’t answer our prayers concerning Beau the way we wanted him to, in his kindness, he went out of his way to show us that Beau was his. He showed us that apart from Him, nothing about Beau’s final weeks made any sense. And in the days, weeks, months and years since Beau went “home”, through many signs and wonders, God continues to reassure us that He has been our God through all of it.

  2. Pingback: Kindness ~ A gift to ourselves | The Accidental Mama

  3. Pingback: Kindness ~ A gift for others | The Accidental Mama

  4. Pingback: Kindness ~ A gift worth receiving | The Accidental Mama

  5. Pingback: Someone Kind | The Accidental Mama

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