The Character of Kindness

The Character of Kindness

Kindness is often seen in the little acts and deeds towards others that often go unnoticed by the world. Most of us live our entire lives and never have the opportunity to do a grand, heroic act of kindness that captures national attention. But we all have daily opportunities to practice small acts of kindness towards others. William Wordsworth, an English poet, said, “The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.” Every Christian should recognize their calling to have a ministry of kindness. How can we, in light of the kindness of God toward us, neglect such a ministry?

In 2 Samuel 9, we see one of the greatest acts of kindness in the life of David. Saul was now dead and David took his rightful position as king. It was very common when a new king and a new dynasty arose to power to kill anyone connected with the previous dynasty in order to eliminate all rivals to the throne. David, however, did not seek revenge. Rather he asked, “Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” David was informed about a son of Jonathan who was lame on his feet named Mephibosheth. As part of the house of Saul, Mephibosheth had a right to the throne. He could be easily seen as a rival and a threat to the throne. Yet, instead of showing rejection and seeking revenge, David showed great kindness to him by restoring unto him “all the land of Saul” and by giving him a place at the king’s table. David went above and beyond in giving Mephibosheth undeserved kindness.

What a picture of God’s kindness to us! We, as believers, are like Mephibosheth. Poor, lame, weak and fearful. We are separated from the King. We are crippled by the Fall. Yet the King of Kings sought us out and extended kindness to us by giving us not only salvation, but also access to the King and sweet  fellowship with Him. We deserved condemnation, yet we received God’s grace and kindness. Ephesians 2:7 says, “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

Yet such kindness that we have been shown, should be a regular part of our life as we minister to others. Ephesians 4:32a says,  “And be ye kind one to another…” Just as we are like Mephibosheth in receiving undeserved kindness from God, we are also to be like David in giving unreserved kindness to others. We should look for those who are poor, weak, and lame and bless them. We should look for those in need and forgotten and reach out. We should be a helper to the helpless. In the same way that God has shown us kindness, we should reflect that same kindness in our relationships with others.

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