Kindness

Definition as a virtue

Kindness is a personal quality that enables an individual to be sensitive to the needs of others and to take personal action to endeavor to meet those needs. It is more than being nice and agreeable. It is a quality of one’s being, not just a matter of a person’s behavior! This makes it a personal virtue and not just an action or a personal gift that is given to someone.

Examples of kindness

Truly kind persons are probably not the most famous ones in the world. True kindness is probably best demonstrated quietly without much attention being given to it. A somewhat well known example of kindness is given by Jesus in his story of the “good Samaritan”, which is found in the book of Luke in the New Testament (chapter 10 verses 25-37). Although he used the story to define the term “neighbor” to a lawyer, the Samaritan in the story certainly was a kind man who saw a robber’s victim lying by the side of the road to Jericho. He stopped and rendered first aid to the man, put him on his own donkey, took him to an inn, and paid for his lodging and care.

Today the virtue of kindness may be demonstrated by opening a door for an elderly lady, helping a blind person to get onto and off of an escalator, helping a distraught mother with a crying child pick up some items that she has dropped in a department store, making a personal visit on a friend in a nursing home even though he/she may not know who you are because of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, or other such acts of kindness.

The value of kindness

Kindness is priceless, like other virtues and GOOD gifts. Its blessings last throughout eternity, according to Jesus in his teaching regarding God’s final judgment (see Matthew chapter 25 verses 31–46 in the New Testament). The model of kindness in a person can make a difference in a family and its ancestors, in a neighborhood, in an office or business, in a town, and in the world. Image what our nation and our world would be like if there were more models of kindness active in our communities rather than models of material success and personal fame.

My appeal

If you know a kind person, thank them for this blessing. It will encourage them and strengthen them, and you as well. Open your eyes and your heart to others, and their needs will stimulate and nourish the virtue of kindness in your own heart. Selfishness is the great enemy of kindness, so resist it. Teach your children to be kind, not just to be nice and polite. Give attention to this quality of their being, not just to how well they behave.

Ask God to strengthen and to bless this virtue of kindness in your life, because in its expression you will be able to see him transform lives and be glorified. Kindness is a great testimony to God’s presence and work in an individual. Genuine kindness cannot be duplicated or demonstrated by any servant of the Devil; it can’t be faked. May you receive the help of a kind person when you are in need.