Updated: Apr 15
“The real trouble is that 'kindness' is a quality fatally easy to attribute to ourselves on quite inadequate grounds. Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment." -C.S. Lewis
His point? It is easy to be kind when you have no reason not to be.
The real challenge is being kind when you have no reason to be.
The most common yet most powerful example of this is in one of the most popular Bible stories of all time, the parable of the Good Samaritan. If you haven't familiarized yourself with it, it's a great passage to see revolutionary kindness. Jews and Samaritans, enemies at large, were not known for their kindness towards one another. In fact, the Jews had an old saying, "Better to be a dog than to be a Samaritan," to emphasize the resentment they had for one another... yet Jesus called them neighbors. "Love your neighbor as yourself," He said.
Maybe you call them your coworkers. Maybe they are your step-relatives, exes, or "friends" who have wronged you and you feel entitled to a cold heart towards them. Well, if you profess faith in Jesus, you ought to know that there is not a single person in the eyes of God who does not deserve kindness, for "your kindness should be known by all (Philippians 4:5)."
Don't spend more time trying to look nice than to be nice. If we spend more time in front of the mirror making sure our appearance is right than in front of the Lord to make sure our attitude is right, we have missed the mark. In fact, people would rather be with someone who is nice than someone who looks nice. How then should we look and dress? Colossians 3:12 says this, "As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience."
Finally, it's important to recognize that God does bless kindness. Don't be afraid of being blessed, God wants to bless you. Proverbs writes, "Your own soul is nourished when you are kind (11:17)."
Don't wait to be kind, find a reason to be. Slow down, see a need, and meet a need. If you are really up for the challenge, intentionally show kindness towards someone who you know is not expecting it from you. You'd be surprised at what the Spirit of God can do in someone's heart by your words of kindness towards them.
God, create in me a clean heart. By the power of your Spirit, strengthen me and give me the ability to show kindness the way that you have shown it to me when I have not deserved it.
Help me remember the story of the good Samaritan when I see someone in deep struggle- how he went out of his way to care for someone the world around him told him to despise. Your word says that love is patient and kind. Help me be slow to selfishness and quick to reveal Christ through countercultural kindness.