The Power of Kindness
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
What would happen if everyone in the world woke up today with the goal of making an impact and not an impression in the lives of others? Thats not a play on words, I’m talking about the motivation of why we do what we do. People in general who seek to make an impression on others for the most part want others to think kindly of them. The only problem with wanting to make a good impression is our focus tends to be on ourselves, where as the person who is seeking to make an impact is more concerned about the person they are seeking to impact. Jesus didn’t come into this world to make an impression, He came to make an impact and the followers of Christ are seeking the same thing.
Are you aware that one of the best ways to impact peoples lives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is through acts of kindness? Romans 2:4 teaches us, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness (kindness) of God leads you to repentance.” I read a quote yesterday that said, “Unexpected kindness is magical” and it’s true. Kindness, be it in the form of random acts or in in deliberate well thought out plans are not only life changing, they can be life giving.
The story of Mephibosheth is a wonderful reminder of the impact of human kindness. Mephibosheth was a son of Jonathan, the son of King Saul. Jonathan and David were the best of friends and years after Jonathan and Saul were killed in battle David was looking back over his life and he thought about his friend and asked if there is anyone still alive in his family that David could show kindness to on behalf of His friend. David’s servants discovered there was one person, a young man who was crippled in both feet since the age of five when his caretaker dropped him when they fled after his father and grandfather were killed in battle and they feared for their lives. David sent word through his servants for Mephibosheth to come before the king.
Mephibosheth feared for his life knowing that the common practice of the day would mean sure death for him as with each new monarchy and change of power it usually meant that any remaining heirs of the previous monarchy were killed to prevent any insurrection from arising. Yet when Mephibosheth came before King David we learn in 2 Samuel 9:7, “So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.”
Wow! Talk about an unexpected kindness being magical. Look at 2 Samuel 9:8 and Mephibosheth’s response, “Then he bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?” To say Mephibosheth is overwhelmed would be an understatement. Thats what unexpected acts of kindness do to people. Mephibosheth expected to be killed and yet David offered him grace instead. David in this story is a type of Christ and you and I are Mephibosheth. Nothing comes close to the kindness God has shown us in Christ Jesus.
In Ephesians 2:4-7 the apostle Paul puts it like this, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” In other words, when the world sees us they should be left saying, “God has been very kind to us.” Your life and mine are proof of the kindness of God because if we all got what we deserved, it sure wouldn’t be heaven, but just like Mephibosheth we have been invited to sit and eat at the King of Kings table as sons!
Look for people to show kindness today. The quote, “unexpected kindness is magical” means the kindness shown to others is completely unexpected by the recipient, maybe even the very opposite of what they think they should receive and deserve. Now you know why the Gospel of Jesus Christ is called Good News! When we experience the kindness of God that is ours in Christ, it leaves us speechless just like David in Psalm 8:3-4,
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?”
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