The Kindest People

3 minutes

Random acts of kindness warm our hearts whenever we read about them or are privy to them firsthand.  It’s amazing what a smile can do, how many other smiles it can ignite to light up our faces and our world. A father helping a son tie his shoelaces; a mother lovingly caring for her family; a sibling covering for another; friends supporting each other; neighbors living in harmony; colleagues helping each other; acquaintances cheering each other on -these random acts of kindness restore our faith in humanity; humans holding themselves to an unwritten and unspoken code of moral conduct. 

What makes for kindness? Descriptive synonyms include gentleness, benignity, tender concern, uprightness, and usefulness. This denotes more than just a feeling or an emotion. Kindness is expressed in action when we go out of our way to be that way with people, even disagreeable ones. Recognizing this should prompt us to go out of our way to find ways to demonstrate that kindness. Your life is not about you. Your life is about the lives of everyone you touch. 

Kindness is mentioned as the fifth fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.” As Christians, we are called to mature into these character traits that bring glory to our Lord and savior. And just like fruit takes time to ripen, so does our character. Like fruit needs consistent care to grow and mature, so does our character. Like fruit needs to stay connected to the whole tree to grow, so we too need to stay connected to the vine to grow. Like fruit needs water to grow, so do we need to drink from the springs of living waters. 

Growth and ripening take time and process, needing moments of isolation as well as moments of community, for this is how iron will sharpen iron. The embracing of kindness is also the shunning of unkind expressions of emotion as listed in Ephesians 4:31, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” The absence of this is what makes room for the presence of kindness -when we don’t mistreat people like we think they ought to be mistreated; for it is to kindness that we have been called. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ forgave youEphesians 4:32.  

How do some people hold on to this rare virtue despite life’s adversity? It’s surprising how some of the kindest people are the ones that have suffered the most hideous adversities at the hands of family or society at large. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross explains it like this: “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

The kindest people are not born that way, they are made. They are the souls that have experienced so much at the hands of life, they are the ones who have dug themselves out of the dark, who have fought to turn every loss into a lesson. The kindest people do not just exist – they choose to soften where circumstances tried to harden them, they choose to believe in goodness, because they have seen firsthand why compassion is so necessary. They have seen firsthand why tenderness is so important in this world.” – Bianca Sparacino, ThoughtCatalog

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