A Closer Look at Kindness

“Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12 NLT)

One of the definitions of kindness in Strong’s Concordance that caught my attention is “benignity.” Not a word you see every day, huh? Yeh, I had to look it up. Of course, I recognized the “benign” part, because my son had cancer, but I couldn’t reconcile “cancer” with “kindness.” So, I dug a little deeper, and now believe it’s the perfect word to describe “kindness.”

Think about it. What’s the kindest word you can hear if you’ve had a biopsy and suspect cancer? “The biopsy was benign!” Whoa! Can I hear a HALLELUJAH!

When I think of the word “kindness,” I think of Jesus. He’s kneeling in the dirt doodling while a woman’s life, who was caught “in the very act of adultery,” is hanging in the balance. He’s not showing any anger or any kind of demeaner that would tip anyone off that He’s the Creator of the universe. But He makes a statement that puts perspective to the situation. “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” “BOOM!” “GOT YA!”

Can you hear the rocks dropping? Can you hear the shuffling of guilty feet scurrying to find some place to hide their shame? How like us to stone someone, if for no other reason than to turn attention away from ourselves.

And here’s the woman, lying in the dust, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Expecting anything but what she heard: “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” To which she sheepishly responded, “No, Lord.”

Then Jesus shared the most healing, life-transforming, benign, words that could have possibly been spoken in that setting: “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” Jesus is the epitome of gentleness, kindness, humility, yet, at the same time, of power, strength, and courage.

If you’ve ever been in the proverbial “dust,” ashamed, frightened, hopeless, desperate, and in utter despair, like I have been, you know there’s no greater kindness. To be forgiven and given another chance to live right and honor the One who forgave you is liberating.

We can debate all day whether the lady’s life changed, but you’ll never convince me she’s not going to meet us in heaven with the most beautiful smile anyone could ever imagine. Forgiven people are kind, loving, caring, forgiving, not because they think they’re better than everyone else, but because they know they’re not.

Kindness restores dignity, lifts moods, and gives hope. It’s like a sip of cold water on a very hot day. It’s the soothing presence of warm water after being caught in a driving rainstorm on a chilly evening. It’s the feeling of safety and security as you’re enveloped in the arms of the one you love more than you love your own life. It’s the sense of security you have when you realize you’re going to heaven, not because of anything you’ve ever done to deserve it, but because of the kindness of a Savior who loves you more than He loved His own life.

As God’s beloved children, we need to practice kindness, if for no other reason than to give expression to our love for the One who loved us when we couldn’t love ourselves; when we couldn’t lift our head; when our heart was breaking, knowing we didn’t earn or deserve His love, forgiveness, or kindness…and we never will!

Blessings, Ed 😊

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