Throughout scripture, we are challenged to show kindness in a Christ-like fashion (Eph. 4:32, Matt 25:35). But the carnality of our culture has led many to misunderstand “kindness”; we have often limited “kindness” to a mere act or checklist of “goodly activities” to do for others. Also, we have sometimes labeled “kind” people as needy people with hidden agendas. But kindness is a spiritual virtue that pervades the very being of a person. it is spiritual fruit, that can be expressed in many ways.
- PHILANTROPY: “Kindness” can be associated with philantrophy/philantrophic acts (i.e. love in the sense of caring, and increasing the wellbeing of human-kind.)
- MERCY: “Kindness” can be associated with “mercy” (i.e. forgoing the judgment that one deserves).
- GENTLENESS: “Kindness” can be associated with Gentleness (i.e. amiability and careful consideration of another).
In fact, after extensive studying and research towards this blogpost, I discovered that the Greek word “Chrestotes” is often translated into English as “kindness”; this kindness embodies the aforementioned virtues of gentleness, philantrophy, mercy, benignity and even grace in a sense. So the word “kindness” is not merely an act or “checklist of goodly activities” but rather, the spiritual disposition from which a believer lives and moves. It is a divine temperament that supernaturally empowers the believer to demonstrate true “Chrestotes” flows. Today, I will blog on (1): Philantropy
Philantropy is good. In fact, it is biblical and highly encouraged because scripture says in James 1:27 “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.’ And I find even unbelievers embrace philantropy because that moralistic intuition in man is innate so one can uphold the moral essence of mere “good” yet apart from the recognition of deity (2 Tim 3:5). There are several celebrities who do “good deeds”, support orphanages, pioneer community initiatives etc. Now, for some unbelievers or perhaps some believers caught up in legalism, kindness might be seen as forceful duty, obligation or a thing that brings self-gratification or self-promotion to the doer of the deed. That’s not to say we should not be kind or that self-gratification is wrong. Rather, we are to assess the motive and the purpose of the deed; the act of kindness is to be motivated by love (agape) otherwise it is corruptible. The one benefiting from your kindness might not always be deserving of it and actually, the real substance of your “kindness” will be tested not when the benefactor is deserving but rather undeserving. After all, if you (believer) can only be kind to those who are kind to you, then of what benefit is that? Even pagans can do that! (Matt 5:46).
Friend, I challenge you to do every kind deed as unto God and not unto mortal man, not out of the quest for fame or recognition of man or out of falsity at the expense of anything.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”—Col. 3:23
“The LORD detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.”- Pov. 11:1
“If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD–and he will repay you!”- Prov. 19:17
So Prov 19:17 (above) says when you help the poor, you are actually “lending” to God. Ha! Who is a better “borrower” to deal with than the Lord himself? Timely repayment in abundance is for sure! (PS: It is not that the Lord really needs anything from us but it is just a kind re-positioning proposal by him to put us in a place where we can access a blessing)
What Sort of “Work” is our “kindness”?
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”—1 Corinthians 3:13
The Lord reminds us that the day (i.e. light) shall reveal the true substance of our works here on earth. My friend, it shall be made manifest. Therefore, let us assess our “work” here on earth. Does it align with Gods word? Does it promote good or subtly support evil? Does it please the father? Does it possess hidden agendas? Does it look good on the surface yet rotten at the core? Does it stealthily promote violence, bloodshed, abuse and sin? Is it inspired by self-promotion or carnality or does it glorify Jesus? Would we still do it if the benefactors became undeserving of our kindness tomorrow or next week or next month? Lets ponder over these questions very well. Would we do it if it required more time, effort, prayer and labor on our side? Would we do it if it means pushing our egos, prides and stereotypes aside? Would we do it if it means letting go of hurts and biases? Would we do it in and out of season or just when it is convenient for us? Is it a show or it is for real? Will it stand the test of time? And in the day when all work is “tried”, what shall become of it? My friend, these are not simply “yes” or “no” questions. Out of the sincerity of our hearts we must ponder over, assess and answer these questions. Perhaps, you haven’t thought through all of it. It’s okay; I haven’t either but I am processing through them. Will you also?
PRAYER: I Pray the Lord will commend all our works in the day to come. Even if our “works” have been fueled by misguided motives, ill agendas and selfish gains, we can have a turn around by surrendering it to the Lord,repenting and asking him to create a right heart (Psalm 50) in us and consciously deciding to do “acts of kindness” for his glory. I fervently trust that he is ready to help you with that even right at this moment. Amen
Your Giftings, Inclinations, Passions Skills & Time can meet a Need Today!
First off, I applaud people, groups, institutions out there that are pioneering projects, missions for the genuine benefit of people; be it academic exploits, social entrepreneurships, community action groups and in particular orphanages to care for children who are abandoned and abused. I have personally had the opportunity to embark on missions trips and be engaged in social and health-related community ventures for the kingdom.
I had an opportunity to embark on a Global Missions trip with Dr. Patricia Bailey and a team to Jamaica to witness to and serve the needs of patients at an HIV/AIDS Hospice,a Girls Home and Orphanage while we rallied up youth in a small town for a worship night. To Gods glory, lives were transformed and we ought to continue in this spirit of service, love & kindness. Recently, I read and watched a live footage from an undercover journalist exposing the horrendous activities of an orphanage in another country: the Children were been abused by the so-called caretakers and my heart was broken; The paradox is that most of these children have had traumatic experiences – rejection, pain, abuse and then rescued by law enforcement officials, so it is upsetting for them to be further abused at these orphanages. But thank God for Jesus love which is shed abroad!
We as believers are called to rectify some of these things with our time, resources, influences, networks, etc so think of ways you can get involved out there in school, at work, with your NGO and so forth. At midnight today, I happened to wake up and watch a documentary about an orphanage in Tanzania run by the family of a college friend of mine. What a blessing! The accounts of these children (mostly under 15 years) was moving. This orphanage had rescued child victims from abusive households and unbelievable atrocites from their own family members! But thanks be to God, they are being housed in a safe haven, being given access to good education and above all experiencing the love of the father. Believers are in a position to do this and more because this is the very heartbeat of the father!
So, Where Do You Fit In All This? Well…….
My challenge to you is: Think of ways you can do your part in developing the fruit of Kindness. Have you been thinking of starting an NGO to benefit a marginalized group? Has the Lord been tugging on your heart to reach out to someone in need? Is there some unmet need in society that keeps you sleepless at night? Perhaps, the Lord is calling you to meet that need so that the good news might reach the ends of the earth. Perhaps, you have a passion for social activism to pioneer needed reforms and just recompense for the poor and needy (Prov. 31:9). I challenge you to be fearless and obedient hard as it may be. It might not be easy but the returns are great. Ask someone how it is done, get help, connect with others, go to the library and read and research. Talk to people, start an action plan and follow through. Please, follow through with every action plan. Kindness is a seed within you, release the fullness of it to this world because the world is waiting!
Friend, Thank you for taking time to read part (1). Kindness from perspective of Philantrophy. This week, I will go ahead and release the second post (2) Kindness from the Perspective of Mercy
As always, I enjoy your feedback and questions. I gladly welcome them all and will continue to make time to respond to them as I am able to. 🙂
I’ve been up all night into dawn writing this….so (yawning) lol. its.time to sleep for a few hours and wake up for the day 🙂
Be Kind Today & always,