What Does The Bible Say About Kindness
The Bible speaks extensively about the importance of kindness and compassion in the Old and New Testaments. Kindness is fundamental to living a godly life, reflecting God's love and mercy towards humanity.
So what does the Bible say about kindness, and how can we incorporate it into our daily lives to better ourselves and the world around us?
In this article, we will explore several key passages that emphasize the significance of kindness in the Bible, it's importance, and key stories about kindness in the Bible.
What Is Kindness?
The word "Kindness" is a positive, caring, and empathetic attitude towards others, characterized by showing understanding, compassion, and generosity. It involves treating others with respect, consideration, and warmth, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Kindness can be expressed through words, actions, or gestures, both big and small, and is vital in building and maintaining healthy relationships.
In a broader sense, kindness also encompasses being gentle and forgiving towards oneself, showing self-compassion and understanding in times of personal challenges or setbacks. Practicing kindness benefits the recipient and the person offering kindness, as it fosters a sense of well-being, happiness, and connectedness.
Importance of Kindness in Christianity
- Imitating Christ's example: Jesus consistently demonstrated kindness and compassion throughout his ministry. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and showed love to the marginalized. As followers of Christ, we are called to emulate his example and extend kindness to others.
- Fulfilling the commandment to love: In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus emphasizes the importance of love, stating that the greatest commandments are to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. By being kind to others, we fulfill these commandments and express our love for God and our fellow human beings.
- Creating a sense of unity and belonging: Kindness fosters a sense of community and belonging among believers. By treating one another with kindness and compassion, Christians create an environment where everyone feels valued and supported, reflecting the unity of the body of Christ.
- Promoting peace and reconciliation: Kindness is crucial in promoting peace and fostering reconciliation. By choosing to be kind, even to our enemies, we can help break the cycle of violence and retaliation, paving the way for healing and restoration.
- Being a witness to the world: When Christians practice kindness, they become a living testimony of God's love and grace. By demonstrating kindness in our daily lives, we can positively impact those around us and draw them closer to the message of the gospel.
- Spiritual growth: Practicing kindness helps us grow spiritually by developing virtues such as humility, patience, and empathy. As we become more Christ-like in our actions, we deepen our relationship with God and strengthen our faith.
Examples of Kindness in the Bible
- The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) - In this parable, Jesus tells the story of a man who is robbed and left injured on the side of the road. A priest and a Levite pass by without helping, but a Samaritan stops to care for the man, bandaging his wounds and taking him to an inn for further assistance. This story emphasizes the importance of showing kindness to everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances.
- Ruth and Boaz (Book of Ruth) - The story of Ruth, a Moabite woman, demonstrates exceptional kindness and loyalty towards her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi. When they face poverty and hardship, Boaz, a wealthy landowner, notices Ruth's kindness and extends his generosity toward her and Naomi. Eventually, Boaz marries Ruth, providing security and support for her family. This story illustrates how acts of kindness can transform lives and bring blessings to others.
- Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 37-50) - Joseph, sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, rises to prominence in Egypt and eventually saves his family from a famine. Instead of seeking revenge, Joseph forgives his brothers and shows them kindness by providing them with food and shelter. This story highlights the power of forgiveness and kindness in overcoming past grievances.
- David and Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9) - King David demonstrates kindness by showing favor to Mephibosheth, the disabled son of his deceased friend, Jonathan. David invites Mephibosheth to live in his palace and restores to him all the land that belonged to his grandfather, King Saul. This act of kindness exemplifies the importance of honoring our commitments and extending compassion to vulnerable people.
- Jesus healing the sick and feeding the hungry - Throughout his ministry, Jesus consistently demonstrated kindness and compassion. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and welcomed those marginalized by society. His teachings emphasized the importance of kindness, such as in the Sermon on the Mount, where he instructed his followers to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).
Benefits Of Kindness In The Bible
- Blessings and favor from God: Kindness is often linked with divine blessings and favor. When we practice kindness, we demonstrate our obedience to God's commandments and align ourselves with His will. As a result, we open ourselves to receiving blessings from the Lord (Proverbs 11:17).
- Improved relationships: Kindness strengthens relationships by fostering a sense of trust, respect, and compassion. The Bible encourages us to treat one another with kindness, leading to harmonious and supportive relationships among believers (Ephesians 4:32).
- Promotion of peace: Kindness can break down barriers, promote understanding, and pave the way for peace and reconciliation. We can create a more peaceful and harmonious world by being kind to others, including our enemies (Matthew 5:9).
- Emotional well-being: Kindness has been shown to improve our well-being by releasing feel-good hormones, reducing stress, and fostering a sense of connection with others. The Bible acknowledges the positive impact that kindness can have on our mental and emotional health (Proverbs 12:25).
- Spiritual growth: Practicing kindness helps us develop Christ-like attributes, such as patience, humility, and compassion. As we grow in kindness, we deepen our relationship with God and become more spiritually mature (Colossians 3:12).
- Positive influence on others: When we demonstrate kindness, we can inspire others to do the same, creating a ripple effect of goodness. The Bible encourages us to be a light to the world, and one way to achieve this is through acts of kindness (Matthew 5:14-16).
- Reward in heaven: The Bible teaches that our acts of kindness will be rewarded in heaven, reflecting our love for God and our neighbors. By practicing kindness, we store up treasures in heaven and invest in our eternal well-being (Matthew 25:34-40).
What The Bible Says About Kindness
- Genesis 40:14 - "But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison."
- Proverbs 3:3-4 - "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man."
- Genesis 39:21 - "The Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden."
- Micah 6:8 - "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
- Galatians 5:22-23 - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law."
- 1 Peter 3:8-9 - "Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing."
- Romans 12:10 - "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves."
- 1 Corinthians 13:4 - "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."
- Matthew 7:12 - "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
- Acts 14:17 - "Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."
What Does The Bible Say About Kindness
- Proverbs 19:17 - "Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done."
- Joshua 2:12 - "Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you."
- Hebrews 13:2 - "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."
- Proverbs 11:17 - "Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves."
- 2 Timothy 2:24-25 - "And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth."
- Proverbs 16:24 - "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."
- Isaiah 58:10 - "And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday."
- Titus 3:4-5 - "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit."
- Matthew 5:42 - "Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."
- Romans 12:20-21 - "On the contrary: 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
Bible Verses About Being Kind To Others
- Ephesians 4:32 - "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
- Colossians 3:12 - "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience."
- 1 Thessalonians 5:15 - "Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else."
- Luke 6:35 - "But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked."
- Proverbs 3:3 - "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart."
- Matthew 25:34-40 - "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'"
- Galatians 6:10 - "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
- Job 6:14 - "Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty."
Prayers For Kindness
- 2 Samuel 2:6 - "May the Lord now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this."
- Genesis 24:12 - "Then he prayed, Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham."
- Ezra 9:9 - "Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem."
- Job 10:12 - "You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit."
- Isaiah 63:7 - "I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us— yes, the many good things he has done for Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses."