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Kindness - Helping us to treat others with thoughtfulness, the action of love.
One by one they came upon a horrible scene, a wounded man laying face down in a heap. His low moans, barely audible, made them easier to ignore and one by one they stepped over him leaving him to his fate. Was this a scene from The Good Samaritan story? Well, not exactly.
A few years back I woke up with a severe case of vertigo; even with my eyes closed my head was spinning like it was on some new ride at Six Flags. I could barely move, but when my wife went to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy, I had to try to call work and let them know of my brain on a trampoline predicament. Slithering down the hallway on my belly like some poor blind serpent (I had to keep my eyes shut to keep the roller coaster experience to a minimum), my trek to the phone was a pathetic slither at best. My daughter brought me the phone to the spot I chose (unwisely) as the safest to rest my spinning head, which was on the top three steps that led to the downstairs family room. After making to the call to very sympathetic co-workers (not), my daughter hung up the phone and I laid my head down on the floor to wait for the return of my wife and the blessed medicine.
Here’s where its gets humorous, at least now looking back it seems humorous. Evidently my moaning was not enough to persuade some of my children that daddy was indeed hurting. They continued to run up and down the very stairs that I the sad victim was laying on. Each bounce on the steps adding great discomfort to the area that used to contain my brain. My oldest son walked past me into the kitchen, made a sandwich, passed by me again and mumbled with a mouth full of food something that sounded like concern. My daughter however, stopped what she was doing and sat by me, gently stroking my head, trying to comfort me—that was the Good Samaritan part—the love in action part.
In the Greek the word for kindness is the chresteuomai, which means “to provide something beneficial for someone as an act of kindness”. It’s seeing a need and finding the means to meet that need, in a manner that proves beneficial or useful. In this way kindness is a mental attitude and can be put on and off like clothing.
“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Col 3:12):
Kindness is a motivational fruit, an inspiring fruit that raises the bar in our spirits to become more like Christ. This fruit takes our eyes off ourselves and places them on the needs of others. It is an antidote, strong anti-venom for bitterness, anger and un-forgiveness. Kindness brings strength to the faint hearted and restores hope to those who have given up—it’s that cold glass of water on a hot summer day.
That’s what we see in the Good Samaritan story…kindness, the father’s kindness. When we were knocked down, deserted and left for dead by sin, He comes. His kindness picks us up; his kindness heals our wounds and gets us in an upright position again. That’s how the Father operates, that’s how we as fathers should as well.
1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love suffers long and is kind.”