When one thinks through the Gospel with kindness in mind we find so many examples in the life of Christ. Early in his ministry he meets a man with an advanced case of leprosy. The man falls to his knees begging to be cleansed. Jesus, moved with pity, touches the poor man and immediately the ugly scars vanish (Matt 8:1-4). An act of kindness. On the outskirts of Nain, Jesus meets a funeral procession on its way to bury the young son of a widow. Moved with compassion, Jesus reaches out and touches the coffin and the dead son comes to life and is returned to his mother’s arms (Luke 7:11-17). An act of kindness. Throughout the entire gospel story we find Jesus, always acting in kindness toward those in need. Even in the extreme agony of the cross, when he sees his mother standing there broken by grief, he looks at her tenderly and says, “Mother dear, John is now your son” (John 19:26). His kindness, even in pain, reveals the inner beauty of who he really is.
There is only one verse in the New Testament where Jesus describes himself. He invites the weary and burdened to come to him for rest because, as he puts it, “I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matt 11:29). The overall impression one gets about Jesus as we reflect on his life here on earth is that he is kindness incarnate. His life has no rough edges; he treats every situation with tender insight and kindness.
The world has long honored kindness. The Dalai Lama described his religion very simply as nothing but kindness. Plato encouraged kindness because everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle. However, history has not shown kindness to be the distinctive factor in most relationships. On the national level, war substitutes for kindness; in smaller groups kindness is more often claimed than demonstrated. The norm in most relationships is concern for one’s self.
Scripture teaches that God himself is the source of all kindness and is available to those who joyfully “surrender” to his loving control. Kindness grows as God’s children decide to take their faith with all seriousness and let a kind God transform us into his likeness. The kindness of God has a tangible existence; it can be heard by the deaf and seen by the blind.