And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
“A church usher was instructing a young successor in the details of his office. “And remember, my boy,” he concluded, “that we have nothing but good kind Christians in this church until you try to seat someone else in their chair.” (6000)
I have always enjoyed that little story. It is true that sometimes when we change the routine and seemingly insignificant expectations of some people they can become very angry! Some of us are “kind” just part of the time. We could be “kind of kind” but that is not really being kind!
The Bible commands and admonishes us to “be kind one to another.” This is written to the church members of a church in a city called Ephesus. These were people who lived busy lives in an ancient world trading capitol. There were false gods in the city and the famous Temple of Diana where all sorts of evil originated and was conveyed into their society. It was to these Christian people that God said – “Be ye kind.”
“Ye Kind” is taken from the Greek word: “chrestos” which means to be “employed.” You may never have guessed that definition and origin of the word “kind!” It really helps us understand the significance as to how to go about being kind.
Like you are employed at your job or occupation, the Lord wants us to be employed in the area of kindness. Be kind to the family members in your home. Be kind to the church members at your local church. Be kind to other Christians in the body of Christ. Be kind o your neighbor who does not yet know Jesus. Be kind.
In other words: Leave the other person better off than when you first interacted with them…
Here are 3 considerations.
- I need to think right about people. If I am thinking about how I can take advantage of other people, I cannot be kind to them. That is what Ephesians 5:31 is speaking about: Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
- I need to have compassion for other people. Tenderhearted in verse 32 is speaking of compassion. We live in a day when many people have more compassion on a baby elephant than they do for a homeless man. Many are more compassionate about baby dolphins than they are about human babies that are being murdered in abortion. Have some godly concern for others. Know their condition. Try to help meet a need.
- I must have forgiveness in my heart for others. For the sake of Jesus – God forgave your sin. For the sake of Jesus – you can forgive the sin and wrong that others have projected against you. Forgiving is not the same as forgetting, we will never forget. But we can be like God Who in Hebrews 13:13, “remembers no more” our sin and wrong. While God never forgets, He chooses not to think about our sin. When we forgive others, we are being like God! And God wants us to be more like Him!
One final thought. I am not a “kind person” if I am thinking of how to hurt or take advantage of others. I am not a “kind person” if I am not actively showing compassion to others. I am not a “kind person” if I am not demonstrating true forgiveness to other people.
Ask God to help you – you can be a kind person today! Be employed at being kind to others. It is a “job” that God has called each of us to.