What to Wear as a Child of God: Kindness

Man holding umbrella

Man holding umbrella

Kindness seems all the rage these days, at least outside the political arena.

Random Acts of Kindness get designated days and weeks of intention. Videos showing how one kind act leads to another go viral. Stories on the goodness of one person changes the life of another garner Likes and Hearts and shares on social media.

The harsh uncertainties of today’s violent world create yearnings for safety, for peace, for harmony. We hunger for kindness.

For every child of God, kindness should be part of our daily wardrobe. It’s what we should be wearing.

Colossians 3:12 reminds us: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with….kindness….”

We crave stories like the coffee shop workers who sensed a drive-through customer’s deep sadness. They engaged her in conversation, discovered her husband had died the night before and reached through the window to hold her and pray for her.

Why do we love stories of kindness?

Because our Creator embedded such a desire in us. We are made in His image, and kindness is one of His attributes. He is kind, and He wants us to be also. Consider these few (of many) encouragements from His Word:

Our God is kind: “’…but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord." (Jeremiah 9:24)

I love this picture of our God’s tenderness: “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.” (Hosea 11:4)

He tells us that being kind is the way to draw us—all people—to Himself: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

And again:  “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)

Christ is a gift of the Father’s kind heart: “…in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7)

His lovingkindness enabled our salvation: “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” (Titus 3:3-5)

What does kindness look like?

Each of us can chooses to be kind, to do good for another, to reach out and care when we see a need. What might that kindness look like? So many possibilities if we keep our eyes and hearts open:

Tonight at church I held a new mom’s tiny baby through the service so she could focus on the message.

Another friend at church is still trying to discover who left a gift of money for her and her girls last week. She is so grateful and wants to say thanks.

The couple who paid for a teen to go to rehab made a difference in the rest of his life.

A police officer took off his shoes and gave them to a barefoot homeless man on a cold day.

I loved when a man got out of his car to direct traffic so a mama ducks and her ducklings could cross the street.

And so many, many more. You have done them when you see a need, as have I. And I have received such kind gestures many times.But living it out in the rush and busyness of our lives is not so easy. Our God, though, has made it possible.

Kindness is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). That Holy Spirit, living in us, filling us up, gives us all we need to live this impossible lifestyle—a life marked by kindness.

What about you?  When have you been able to do a kind act?

c2016 Judy Douglass