November 27, 2011

Extend Kindness

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- November 27, 2011

“‘Don’t be afraid,’ David said to him, ‘for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.’” 2 Samuel 9:7

Kindness is a “killer application” for the Christian. It is “killer” in the good sense of the word. Kindness kills fear and replaces it with hope. It kills insecurity and replaces it with security. It kills rejection and replaces it with acceptance. It kills pride and replaces it with humility. Kindness kills the bad so that the good can have room to grow. Like the effect of a powerful herbicide on unwanted weeds, kindness cuts to the root of sin and injects it with grace and love.

Indeed, the kindness you extend to others springs from a variety of motivations. As a follower of Jesus, what compels you the most is the gargantuan kindness that He has bestowed on you. Undeserving, you were captured by the kindness of God. He captured your mind and in the process flooded it with kind thoughts toward others, even your adversaries. He captured your mouth and filled it with kind words of affirmation and encouragement, extending to those thirsting for verbal kindness. He captured your behavior and converted it to be others centered, so now you are guilty of random acts of kindness.

Everything about you has the potential to exude kindness, because God is and has been kind to you. You can count on the kindness of God leading you and others to repentance. Kill others with kindness, and watch God bring them alive. It is the uncanny and counterintuitive nature of kindness. We have the capacity to be kind, because we have received His mercy as a “gift in kind.”

Gratitude to God for His kindness is a sterling reason for us to extend kindness to others. However, gratitude also results from our horizontal relationships. You feel compelled to be kind to a family member or a friend, because of the kindness they extended to your child or your spouse. You can’t help it. Kindness and gratitude are first cousins. When you are grateful, you search for ways to extend kindness to people. It may be a graduation gift, your presence at a wedding, or a handwritten thank-you note. You want to support those who support you and those whom you love.

Kindness has this powerful effect on people: It makes them care. It is the gift that keeps on giving. It seems you cannot pay forward enough with kindness. No one has ever complained of receiving too much kindness. You cannot overdose anyone on kindness. On the contrary, it is healing and wholesome. Kindness is a picture of Christ. It is not only godly, it is God-like. Therefore, diffuse the rumblings of harsh words and replace them with kind ones.

Otherwise, you may say the right words but in an unkind way and defeat your purpose of being open and honest. People cannot hear what you say if how you say it is unkind. A kind delivery of hard words has a much higher probability of acceptance. Kindness comes from a grateful and prayerful heart that is focused on Christ. You cannot help but be kind when you are captured by divine kindness. Extend the quality of kindness, which has been extended to you. For Christ’s sake, we can be kind to one another. The kindness of God invites an extended stay. This is the kind of kindness we all desire and deserve in Him.

Taken from Dose 76 in the 90-day devotional book, Infusion.

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