The Virtue of Kindness
This past week I conducted two funerals on consecutive days. One of them was for a very well known person, and the crowd was overflowing. The other was for a very elderly lady, not very well known. There was a handful in attendance. Both had a common denominator attributed to them by their loved ones. Kindness was the virtue spoken of in each case.
I recently read a devotional by Max Lucado, in which he said that he had been to many conferences focusing on many subjects. Ministry innovations and church growth strategy were among some he listed. He further observed that he could not recall a single session addressing kindness. He then noted how odd that is in light of how much the Bible has to say on the subject.
The dictionary defines kindness as the state or quality of being kind. So what is that state or quality? It is a good or benevolent nature or disposition. It is demonstrated in kind words and helpful deeds. I think we recognize kindness fairly easily. Our problem is not defining it. Our problem often times is doing it.
Let’s look at a few Bible verses to help us see the importance God places on kindness. “Love is very patient and kind…”; “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another…”; “We have been kind and truly loving and filled with the Holy Spirit.”; “To godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”
These random passages are best summarized in Galatians 5:22. “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.”
It would behoove us to live in such a way that when our eulogy is read, kindness would be in the preacher’s script.