I went to a Care and Kindness conference in May. I attended workshops on a variety of topics, including showing care towards people with addictions, people who are at the end of life, etc. Brand new to me was Music Therapy. How would people care by using it? I knew how scripture says David soothed King Saul by playing the lyre; and I learned how music therapy, carefully planned to meet an individual’s needs, can reach and care for otherwise unreachable people.
But today’s post is inspired by a writing workshop where we were asked to quickly write something about kindness and our own story. So, what follows is what I wrote that day, with the benefit of having some extra time to reflect on it.
- A dictionary definition of kindness says, “The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.” But did you know that kindness is a key attribute of God? Scripture frequently uses the Hebrew word hesed, which is often translated “kindness” or “lovingkindness.”
- An old friend I had not seen for a few years gave me a warm greeting hug. I saw hesed come alive. It was amplified by my knowledge of his character over 20 years. When he extends kindness to anyone there’s a genuineness to it.
- Kindness is a way of showing and applying God’s loving grace in our daily lives. How could I say I am serious about God’s love and simultaneously be unkind? Or even if I avoid being unkind, how could I be deficient in radiating out kindness towards those God brings into my life?
The distinction between a show of kindness and real kindness becomes clear when we see that kindness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Ephesians 5:22-23a.)
- Note that a kind person is not squishy and sentimental, but rather they can have a spine of steel when needed. Jesus was the kindest man who ever walked the face of the earth, yet could be angry at the right times.
- Expressing true kindness is central to caring ministry, and I wish to grow to radiate it out better. But receiving kindness is also vital: a conviction, refreshed daily, that I am truly loved and accepted by a caring, kind God—and enjoying the blessing of having friends that know how to express kindness.