There is an old saying: To the one who is good with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
To be kind carries an idea that you may not have known. I am not a Greek scholar but a good lexicon or Strong’s concordance can at least give you an idea of word meanings and sometimes, they expand your understanding. This is the case with the word “kind”. Strong’s says that it means “to show oneself useful”, “to act benevolently”.
James asks a question that will illustrate this well.
If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? (Jas 2:15-16)
Although his context is to show that our faith must be an active one, one cannot forget the verses dealing with love that precede his question. So when his question is asked, you might restate his question to read “how kind is that?”
The short answer of course, is that there is no kindness or usefulness at all! They would be empty words and there would be no love. It is much like trying to use a hammer on a glass where a soft rag would be better.
God is a very kind God and even to those who do not treat Him with the respect He deserves.
For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Mat 5:45)
In the context here, Jesus teaches that we, as His disciples, need to be more like God. God does not withhold what is good and useful from His enemies. If He did, when would Christ have come? (See this post also). Therefore, we should not just be kind to those who treat us well but to those who mistreat us. Why? Because it is Love.
The book of Jonah shows the kindness of God. It shows that kindness in spite of Jonah not being in favor of it. Jonah, knowing that God would relent of the promised destruction, if the city of Nineveh repented, did not want to preach the message. God, in chapter four, shares the reason for His kindness and rebukes Jonah for not seeing 120,000 souls that didn’t even know their right hand from their left.
Where we might see an enemy, God sees a soul that needs to be saved. God wants all to be saved and that is why the Gospel goes forth. The Gospel is the ultimate kindness and we, as His disciples are the ones who need to preach that message….or do we want to be like Jonah?
Being Kind does not mean being someone who walked all over. Boundaries can be established and Love knows how to establish proper boundaries. However, Love goes a lot further than the world’s standards are capable of understanding and sometimes Love stops short of where the world thinks it should. We shouldn’t think that it is easy but it is necessary for us to consider carefully the following question:
What are some ways in which we can be too kind?