LOVE IS KIND
1 Corinthians 13:4
Often, the best thing one man can give another is kindness. Oh, how sweet it is to hear a kind word, when your heart is breaking! How delightful it is to see a kind smile, when you have seen many growling faces! How pleasant it is to feel the kind embrace of a friend, when you have felt the betrayal of those you thought were your friends! Kindness is always right. Kindness is always in season. It is never wrong to be kind, but always good.
Many seem to think that kindness is compromise, unless the person to whom kindness is shown is a strong, exemplary believer, who "deserves" kindness. But the strong, while they enjoy and appreciate it, do not need kindness. Kindness must have for its object one who is weak, poor, fallen, outcast, down trodden, or needy.
This particular word "kind" is used nowhere else in the New Testament. It was not even found in ancient Greek literature prior to the time that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians. It appears to be a word coined by Paul, under Divine inspiration, specifically to describe the love that rules a believer's heart. To be "kind" is to be useful, generous, sympathetic, and tender. Paul uses a similar word in Ephesians 4:32, "Be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christís sake hath forgiven you."
Kindness accommodates itself to the needs of its objects. If a man offends, kindness forgives. If a person is fallen, kindness picks him up. If one is hungry, kindness feeds him. If a brother is lonely, kindness visits him. If a sister is downcast, kindness encourages her. If one is weak, kindness offers strength. If one is needy, kindness helps. If a person is afflicted, in trouble, and hurting, kindness is tender hearted. Sometimes kindness is a word of appreciation, encouragement, or compliment. Sometimes it is a visit, a gift, or an expression of love. Everyone needs a little kindness. And those who love one another are kind to one another. They overlook and find excuses for one another's faults and failings. They speak well to one another and about one another.
Kindness is never wrong. Meanness is always wrong! If I am kind to a fallen man, does that mean that I condone his fall? Of course not. It means I know what it is to fall, and I want to help the fallen. Some attempt to excuse their meanness toward others under the guise of loving the truth, maintaining church discipline, and reproving sin. But these things never excuse or condone any lack of kindness. Our danger is not being kind to the point of excusing sin. Our danger is being self-righteous to the point of meanness. God give me grace to be kind to sinners like myself.
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #870
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 859-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org