2 Timothy 1:15-18
You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus,because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.
Often people say that love is blind, but the Bible tells us that Love is kind not blind. Its here in 2 Timothy 1:15-18 we see a Believer named Onesiphorus who lived out a love that was kind to the Apostle Paul during one of the more difficult times in his life. Kindness is not just an attitude it is love in action, it sees people’s imperfections and still cares. The kindness of love doesn’t focus on the faults and shortcomings of others, it choses instead to serve them with love. This doesn’t mean that it is blind to people’s weaknesses and sins, but rather that love chooses to see beyond them, accepting people as they are, looking at their best qualities, and wanting what’s best for them. Kindness is something that not only goes against our current culture but is something our culture seems to have all but killed. I believe this is because kindness is rooted in service where our culture is rooted in selfishness. Today instead of being kind we are hateful and mean. We post things that are hurtful not helpful. We use social media as a tool to post our positions instead of as a platform to promote God’s love. Have we become a people who care more about being right than living right? Kindness is not just an attitude but an action that flows out of our caring. So, as we think about cultivating Christlike character we need to remember that we have a kind King. One who served us by sacrificing His life for us. Kindness is “love in action.” It’s the practical expression of love that is visible and active and not just emotional. But why should we be kind? After all, kindness is kind of risky. If we are nice to someone they might think, “Why is this person being so nice? What’s in it for them?” On the other hand, other people will see our kindness and may try to take advantage of us. Yet despite the risks we need show kindness to others for several reasons. First it is a command of God, Ephesians 4:31-32, 31 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Why would Christ command us to be kind, because kindness cultivates relationships instead of killing them like anger and bitterness does. Kindness is saying yes to the commands of Christ, its putting feet to your faith through obedience. Another reason we need to show kindness is that when we do, we reveal the character of Christ to a watching world. Kindness is one of the simplest and yet most magnetic ways we can share the Savior. When we point our fingers and condemn people they get defensive but when we care for them with kindness instead of being guarded toward God they are open. Thirdly kindness is our response to the grace God has shown us. God didn’t just tell us He loves us, He proved it. Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” It’s not enough for us just to say we love others; we must show it. You don’t perform acts of kindness to earn God’s mercy and forgiveness; you perform good deeds because you have been loved and forgiven. When God saved you, He began to change you. You should no longer want to live like pagan people who don’t know God and only want to live for self. So let me ask you do you know God are you saved, have you accepted God’s free gift of grace? When you show kindness to a stranger, they are surprised. Why? Because that’s not normal behavior. Out there in this wicked world, it is every person for themselves. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, a hard-knock life. But for those of us who know Jesus, we live by a higher standard, a standard that our Savior set for us. You see the world tends to give people what they deserve. But God is full of grace and mercy. Grace is God blessing you with that which you do not deserve. Mercy is God withholding the punishment you do deserve. The more you understand and appreciate God’s grace and mercy, the more you will want to show kindness to others. Kindness is really a reflection of how much you get the grace of God. Mean people don’t get God’s mercy. Many of us who claim to be Christians spend more time promoting our political agendas than we do proclaiming Christ’s. In fact I don’t think Jesus is as concerned about our political persuasion as much as He is about how we will treat those who differ from us. Are you being kind? Who can you show kindness to today?