Choosing to be Kind


I am loving a visit from my mother

My mom is visiting for the next two weeks. Since she lives 440 miles away from me, I especially treasure this time together. Like most mothers, my mom has certain sayings that have become part of the fabric of who she is, and my favorite one is, “It only takes a moment to be kind.”

Kindness pervades her life and washes over everyone she meets. The Bible talks a great deal about kindness, which is simply love in action.

Kindness comes from God

We are told that kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). The Lord empowers us to be kind through His Holy Spirit, who lives in us. I have watched this powerful kindness in my mother all my life. She cares about others, and she shows that she cares. She visits those in nursing homes, people she doesn’t even know, and makes sure they have what they need. She ensures the less fortunate have food and basics like heat and electricity through her volunteer work at the local Food Bank and Salvation Army.

And oh my, has my mother lavished her kindness on her family, helping with her 25 grandchildren, and hosting special gatherings for her 8 children, their spouses, and families. She steps in whenever anyone needs a hand. I will always treasure the weeks she spent helping me after the births of each of my 4 children. Right now, in the wake of our kitchen renovation, she is graciously participating in putting our kitchen items back in their respective places, while she is visiting, on vacation.

Kindness thinks of others

Philippians 2:3-4, NASB, says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

My mother constantly thinks of others. She is quick to point out what their perspectives might be, or how their circumstances might be affecting their actions. She was talking with me the other day and mentioned she was driving one of the volunteers to and from the Food Bank on food distribution day, because that volunteer could not drive. “I guess the Lord put me there right now to help her,” she said.

That’s what Jesus did for us. We are told “for the joy set before Him,” He endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2, NASB). He thought of us in the midst of the shame and pain of the cross, and He found joy, knowing what His sacrifice would accomplish for us: the payment of the penalty for our sins, and the opportunity for us to be with Him forever.

Kindness stretches

“Keep fervent in your love for one another,” says 1 Peter 4:8, NASB. Those words literally mean “to stretch, as if straining for the tape in an athletic race.” We are called to “stretch” in our kindness, to be inconvenienced and uncomfortable, to reach out in love and do something.

My mother has “stretched” her entire life, going out of her way, investing her time, giving of her resources to help her family and others. Of course, she had an incredible role model. Her mother came down to our house almost every weekday while my parents worked full-time, and she helped cook and clean, while also loving the pudding out of all 8 of her grandchildren.

But my mother’s greatest role model is Jesus Himself. I see Him in her every day. He “stretched” all the way from heaven to show His love in action on our behalf. He left heaven and came to earth to save us: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB).

By His grace, may we “stretch” in kindness toward others.

Question: Who has shown you the kindness of God? Comment at the link below.

Susan Jane King

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