The word "kindness" in Scripture is used more of God than of anyone else. William Barclay says: "It is something of a joyous revelation to discover that when the King James Version calls God good, again and again the meaning is not just moral goodness but kindness." The goodness of God is not something we need shrink away from in fear, but something that draws us to Him with cords of love. This does not mean, of course, that God is indifferent concerning our sins and moral violations; it means that He is so warmly disposed toward us that He has provided through the Cross a way whereby our sin can be forgiven and forgotten. In the Old Testament, especially the Psalms, the expression "loving kindness" is often used. A little boy explained the difference between kindness and loving kindness like this: "Kindness is when your mother gives you a piece of bread and butter; loving kindness is when she puts jam on it as well."In the New Testament, however, a content has gone into kindness which has made the adding of the word "loving" unnecessary. The Moffatt translation brings out this thought most beautifully when it says: "Treat one another with the same spirit as you experience in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5). Not merely the same actions, but the same spirit in the actions as was in Jesus. This shows kindness to be more than just actions -- but attitudes. I can think of no better definition for kindness than this -- kindness is treating others the way God has treated us.
Father, just as you let Your kindly rain fall on the evil and the good, help me to rain kindliness on everyone I meet today -- regardless of who or what they are. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What are we not to despise?
2. What leads us to repentance?