Kindness is a trait of the godly, a fruit of the Spirit that reflects the character of God. God has expressed kindness to mankind in the form of His Son. 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. (Ephesians 2:4-7 NKJV) What greater kindness than to grant life? That kindness, because it is undeserved, is called mercy. Another benefit of God’s grace and mercy is forgiveness. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:30-32 NKJV) Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (Colossians 3:12-13 NKJV) It is not enough that we are forgiven. God expects that we forgive each other with a kind and tender heart. Kindness exhibits itself in forgiveness, in affection, in tenderness, in selflessness, in patience and in goodness. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV) Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; (Romans 12:10 NKJV)
Kindness was an element of Paul’s spirit in preaching the gospel. In defending his motives to the Corinthian brethren, he lists kindness along with purity, longsuffering and sincere love (2 Corinthians 6:6). Paul appreciated the kindness extended to him by Jesus and explains to Timothy how grateful he is for the mercy that saved him. Paul became a living example to those he would teach. And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:12-17 NKJV)
Kindness marks a growing faith. Peter speaks to the effort required. When faith grows to the point that we master ourselves, then we can turn our attention to serving others. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8 NKJV)
Kindness indeed indicates a godly character. It is a joy and a blessing to benefit from the kindness of others. Remember that the greatest kindness we can bestow on our fellow man is to share the gospel message. Obedience to that message can impart the ultimate kindness, eternal life through Jesus our Lord.