You are on the game show “The $100,000 Pyramid.” You and your partner have won the first round, and now you are in the chairs to win big money. You look up and see six squares. One by one, they will turn around and give you a short phrase. Without using your hands, you will begin to say things to communicate the ideas.
The first square is straightforward: “things that are green.”
You say, “a lush lawn,” “Kermit the frog,” “a good salad.”
Your partner quickly gets the words. One by one, you speed through the squares until you reach the final square, “those who are mean.” What do you say?
An old coach.
A clique of teenage girls.
A substitute teacher.
A Christian quoting Scripture?
A dogmatic Sunday School teacher?
Unfortunately, most Americans would include that second group of examples in “those who are mean.”
Many American Christians are mean. Yet is there any trait so antithetical to the grace of God as much as meanness?
When Paul wanted to describe love, the second word he used was “kind.”
When he wanted to show evidence of God’s presence, he said, “love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness.”
As we think about Jesus, “kind” is undoubtedly one of the words that described him.
Yet, for some reason, kindness is seen as optional for many Christians and sometimes even looked down upon. It’s as though meanness is equated with righteousness in some Christian circles, even though there is no picture of that in the Bible.
Kindness is a reflection of the character of God. He is loving. If we want to follow Him, we need to know this about Him. It is His nature. His love will extend far more than we desire to people we don’t want to love.
Kindness should reflect who we are. If we want to be a church that finds life in Jesus, we will be loving. One of our strategies is to serve. We believe that, through serving, we learn to love and be loved. If you want to know who we are as a church, we should be loving.
Kindness is an integral element of love. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that love is kind. The word “kind” connotes being of the same type. “Kindred” is a related word. In cards, we might use the term “two of a kind” or “three of a kind.” “They are the same kind” means the essence of two things is the same. When we are told that love is kind, it partly communicates recognizing that another person is of the same importance as you. Consider mankind or humankind. Jesus illustrated for us and then commanded us to show kindness to others.
PSALM 63 (NIV)
You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.
9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
10 They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God will glory in him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.
1. What is the hope about God?
2. How is that hope for you?
3. How can you share hope with others today?