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Kind – God's character from A to Z

Kindness draws us to one another. But who is really kind, through and through? How many times has someone shocked us with unkindness, once we have drawn close enough to trust?

Consider these instances:

  • the best friend, who spills your secrets to someone else
  • the coworker, who takes credit for your idea
  • the college roommate, who steals your boyfriend (or girlfriend)
  • the teacher, who belittles you in front of the whole class
  • the next-door neighbor, who snow-blows his driveway and sends the snow piling onto yours
  • the family member, who bickers over anything and whatever
  • the boss, who critiques you publicly, often for his or her own slip-ups
  • the spouse, who _________________________
  • the church member, who fails to notice the newcomer sitting nearby
  • the pastor, who barely disguises your personal crisis and uses it as a sermon illustration

I’d bet you can easily think of several more real-life examples.

Without mentioning names or specifics, I could fairly say I have experienced all of these. (Who hasn’t?) In the interest of fairness and candor, I should also admit that I have offended in at least a couple of these, too.  (No, I didn’t steal anyone’s boyfriend or preach a sermon.) Thank God for His mercy.

Some of these offenses may seem mean-spirited and harsh. Hey, they hurt. Maybe they weren’t all intentional, but they seemed unkind at the time. Perhaps we even responded in-kind sometimes.

People disappoint. We hurt and harm. We overlook and overreact. We disregard and disrespect each other – whether we mean to or not.

Not so with God.

Only God is truly kind. At the risk of sounding facetious (which I don’t mean to do), I think it’s fair to say God is one of a kind in that department.

“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” (Psalm 145:8, NIV)

In the 1980s, contemporary Christian radio stations were playing this song:

Here’s the chorus:

“It's Your kindness that leads us
To repentance, oh, Lord.
Knowing that You love us,
No matter what we do,
Makes us want to love You too.”

This echoes the truth found in Romans 2:4b, which says,
“God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance” (NIV).

God’s kindness goes so far beyond anything we mortals may muster.

Maybe that’s why the Bible often calls it “loving-kindness.” Depending upon the Scripture translation you choose, you may find this word in many spots:

  • Ephesians 2:7
  • Isaiah 54:8
  • Nehemiah 9:17
  • Psalm 117:2
  • Psalm 17:7
  • Psalm 31:21
  • Psalm 36:7
  • Psalm 63:3
  • Psalm 69:16
  • Titus 3:4-6

(That’s just a few!)

It’s affectionate, benevolent, big-hearted, charitable, compassionate, giving, gracious, magnanimous, merciful, serving, sympathetic, tender, and unconditional.

That’s the loving-kindness God offers to us and what He desires to grow within us as well. That’s the kind of kindness we want – to receive, to have, to learn, and to share.

Adapted from public domain art
Bible verse graphic – created on quote generator

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