ODJ: The Beauty of Kindness

November 13, 2018 

READ: Ephesians 4:17-32 

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another (vv.31-32).

While sitting in the waiting room at my mechanic’s garage, I watched a segment on the waiting- room’s television about a “Secret Santa”. Each year he gives away huge amounts of cash to strangers. In the segment I viewed, the “Secret Santa” was in a supermarket handing lots of money to a female senior citizen. It turned out that the woman had been suffering greatly as she battled stage IV cancer. She was surprised and overwhelmed by the “Secret Santa’s” gift, but more so by the kindness that motivated him to give it.

In a day in which there’s so much global “bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander” even among believers in Jesus, kindness is a rarity (Ephesians 4:31). No wonder the woman and the many other recipients of the “Secret Santa’s” kindness were taken aback by his generosity. Thus, a kind, tenderhearted, forgiving and humble spirit is truly countercultural (v.32).

I know I’m always impressed by people who are kind and tenderhearted when they’re under stress. A question I often ask myself is: Do I show the same kindness in my own home that I show to strangers? Even though some people might consider me to be kindhearted, it can be difficult to be kind to my children or husband when I’m tired; that’s when I’m more easily irritated.

Jesus’ own disciples were impressed by the compassion-fuelled kindness He continually exhibited. Matthew noted that even after long periods of teaching in the synagogues and healing many, when Jesus “saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:35-36).

Kindness and compassion extended, especially amid exhaustion, comes as Jesus works in and through us.

—Marlena Graves

365-day plan: Acts 23:23-24:27

Reflect on Colossians 3:14-17. How might you clothe yourself in love and kindness? 
How have you been reflecting the beauty of Christ’s kindness? How has He helped you to be kind?