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.
Not only is kindness sensitive and supportive but the third characteristic of kindness is one we really don’t like to talk about:
The truth is kindness will cost you. First you will have to sacrifice selfishness, you will never serve others as long as you are focused on self. Paul tells us that everyone from the province of Asia had deserted him even those he thought were close to him and cared. Why did they desert him, the same reason most of the disciples deserted Christ to save their own skin. Bringing kindness to Paul would have associated them with the prisoner. It could have ruined their reputation and caused them to also be put in chains. One of the biggest reasons we are not caring is because kindness costs. There is a price to pay. Onesiphorus was from Ephesus which is 1200 miles from Rome. It involved a long journey that cost him his time and treasure to bring kindness to Paul. So why did Onesiphorus risk his freedom and even his life to be kind to Paul because he remembered the price Christ paid for his freedom. When kindness is motivated by grace we will give, but when kindness is motivated by getting, how it will benefit me, we will only be kind as long as it serves self. Kindness is a gift that keeps on giving. But sadly, some of us instead of being kind are being mean in our marriages because the motivation behind your kindness is not grace but getting. You are not really looking to serve your spouse you are trying to serve self. Instead of trying to be a blessing you are trying to benefit. Some of you are being kind to your wife not to serve her but to get pleasure. But she instinctively knows that you are not interested in her heart and so she ignores your advances. Just like patience there is a price to kindness, but the price of not being kind is greater. How many of us are paying the price of not being kind, not just with our spouses but with our kids? True kindness is motivated by sacrificial service, it understands that not only is there a price to be payed but it is willing to pay it. Which brings us to the fourth characteristic of kindness:
Kindness requires being intentional. I want you to notice that Onesiphorus didn’t just think kind thoughts, he went to Rome, and when he got there he searched everywhere until he found Paul. Kindness doesn’t just happen we have to be intentional. We have to be willing to put our agendas aside and seek out those who need a touch of kindness. Here was a man that left his home to journey to the big city of Rome to share the kindness of God. When he got there, he had to search for Paul, which means he would have had to inquire about Paul the prisoner and risk being associated with him. We don’t know how long he had to search for Paul, but we do know that he found him and cared for him with kindness. So, who do you need to search out and share God’s kindness with?