“But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.” – Titus 3:4–5.
Many centuries ago, God revealed how true faith is lived out. God’s Word says, “what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 ESV)
Think about it. Doing justice is being concerned for those who are left out, looked over, abused, and oppressed. Walking humbly with God is seeing God and self from the right perspective, thankful for His grace. Loving kindness is being considerate, thoughtful, and actively working for the good of others. If Christ isn’t the source of my actions toward others, being kind will come from a selfish, me-focused attitude. Kind toward others, expecting them to always be kind back and being bitter when they don’t repay our kindness. … and likely getting my feelings hurt when they don’t.
Titus 3:3 (TPT) gives us a snapshot of what we are trying to avoid: “For it wasn’t that long ago that we behaved foolishly in our stubborn disobedience. We were easily led astray as slaves to worldly passions and pleasures. We wasted our lives in doing evil, and with hateful jealousy we hated others.”
Kindness is learned. It doesn’t come naturally. Because of sin, we don’t love others naturally. The good new is found in Titus 3:4-5. Though we didn’t deserve it, Jesus responded with goodness and kindness. He’s the ultimate example of graciousness. We can respond to others with kindness because we’ve received kindness ourselves — and not just any kindness, but the most extravagant display of kindness in human history.
The Christ-follower is called to show kindness to those who oppress them, who marginalize them, who disagree with them. Could there be any character trait more appreciated in others than kindness? Kindness is inspiring, whether it’s taking time to help an employee at the office, or defending a person being picked on by bullies. The recipients of these acts of kindness are always grateful. The one person who comes to mind when I think of kindness is Jesus Christ. He shows us that God is kind. And because He is so kind to us, we are to be kind to one another.
So how do I live a kind life? Take some time this week and reflect on God’s kindness in our lives. “So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.”(Ephesians 2:7) Examine your interactions with people this week and ask yourself: in what ways have I been kind to others? In what ways have I been unkind? Then ask God’s Spirit to show you areas in your life where you need to improve on being kind to others, and then ask for help to overcome those areas.
- How can you nurture kindness in your life?
- What benefits and promises are there to those who practice kindness?