June 2012

Kindness

One hot day, an ice cream truck was on its way back to the warehouse when it encountered a traffic jam.  While waiting out the traffic jam, the driver got an ice cream cone from the back of his truck.  Four sweltering children in the car behind him watched him eat it.  Feeling sorry for them, he gave them some ice cream.  In minutes, he was surrounded by children.  By the time the traffic began to move, he had gone through four cartons of ice cream cones.  Rather than explain the situation to his boss, he decided to pay for the ice cream himself.  When he got to the warehouse, however, he was called to the manager’s office and asked why he had been giving away company stock.  He expected to be fired.  Instead, the boss smiled broadly and said it was the best public relations the firm had in years.  Parents had been phoning in to the company. 

A small act of kindness goes a long way. In a day when people tend to be cold, callous, and apathetic, it is refreshing to meet someone who is warm, caring, and kind. Today, however, kindness has been pushed side by selfishness. 

Paul wrote to the believers at Ephesus and stated, “And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32). The Greek verb for “be kind” means to become or show kindness. It is not just thinking about it, but having a sweet and generous disposition that performs good deeds from the heart. Think about it, if we demonstrated kindness at church, at home, or in the workplace; would that make a difference? You bet it would! There may be times in your life that you will be sorry about something you said; sorry about staying too late; and sorry that you didn’t do something or did do something; but in all your life, you’ll never be sorry for being kind.

If we look at Scripture, you will see that:
a.    Kindness is characterized by God the Father (Ps. 145:17).
    “The Lord is righteous in all His ways, And kind in all His deeds.”

b.    Kindness is characterized by Jesus (Luke 6:35).
"But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.”

c.    Kindness is characterized by a servant of the Lord (II Tim. 2:24). 
“And the Lord's bond servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged.” Paul is talking to Timothy in particular, but the implication is for all. 

d.    Kindness is a characteristic of Biblical love (I Cor. 13:4). 
“Love is kind.” Biblical love chooses to perform good deeds to others. It’s taking your wife out on a date, sending flowers or a card to someone just to brighten up their day, sharing your toys, letting another person go first, giving a worker a glass of water or tea, helping an elderly person at the grocery store, visiting someone who is sick, and listening to someone tell their stories. Someone once said, “Love without kindness is like springtime without flowers.”

One morning on Route 95 in Virginia, a commuter was standing in the pouring rain beside his disabled vehicle, helplessly watching the procession of cars pass him by. Suddenly one small car, already packed with four passengers, swerved close to the drenched man. Down rolled the window and from it emerged an umbrella. The still-stranded, but grateful man accepted the gift, waved his hand, and the car continued on its way. You just don’t know how a little act of kindness will affect another person.

We live in a hurting world! Job 24:12 tells us, "From the city men groan, and the souls of the wounded cry out." Job is saying, slip into any city, walk down any street lined with houses, apartments, and stores and behind those walls are the groans of hurting people, human beings with aches, pains, fears, and tears-people who are longing for someone to touch them with kindness. Let’s be those people who show kindness and make a difference in someone’s life!                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                            -Pastor Mike Kotrla