by Alan Allegra
Practice Non-Random Acts of Kindness
“Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see” (Anonymous).
You have probably seen the bumper sticker that reads, “Practice Random Acts of Kindness.” The point is that acts of kindness will neutralize random acts of violence. Biblically, acts of kindness are not meant to be random, but via the Holy Spirit, they are to be a way of life (Galatians 5:22).
“Kindness” has been defined as “benevolence in action.” It is basically doing good for people (and even animals). When Peter was preaching to Gentiles, he characterized Jesus thus: “He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). Another way to think about kindness is treating people like they are your own kind — humans, equals, made in God’s image. Kindness recognizes that we all have the same trials, temptations, and needs. God made this plain in Exodus 23:9: “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” The Israelites could empathize with strangers because they knew what it felt like to be one of them.
Let’s look at a few Scripture passages that emphasize the results of showing kindness.
Romans 2:4 — “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” God’s kindness should soften the heart and draw the sinner to Him because He is so good.
Ephesians 2:7 — “[S]o that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Kindness glorifies God. His kindness to us in providing salvation will echo throughout eternity.
2 Corinthians 6:6 — “[B]y purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love;” In context, Paul is listing the characteristics that mark him as a true disciple. One of these is kindness.
Colossians 3:12 — “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” Kindness is not only a sign of the new life in Christ, it is a sign of the “one-anotherness,” the equality we share as God’s chosen children.
To recap, kindness is doing good. That sounds like a positive thing, encompassing generosity, help, sharing, giving, sacrifice, etc. But there is a side to kindness that we may not think about all the time: pointing out sin in a person’s life. As uncomfortable and harsh as that may seem, it is an important aspect of kindness. Hear the psalmist David: “Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it” (Psalm 141:5).
Jesus himself summed up the attitude behind kindness with the famous Golden Rule: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). So, be like Jesus and practice non-random acts of kindness!
Alan is editor of Lifestyles Over 50 (Thrive Media) and contributor to the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also an adult Sunday school teacher and Bible study leader. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology, and being a senior citizen!