“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” — Colossians 3:12 NIV
In this article:
What Is Kindness?
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” — 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
Kindness is being caring or concerned for the well-being of others while being gentle, generous, and loving. Kindness is also listed in Galatians 5:22 as one of the fruits of the spirit and one of the characteristics we should strive to develop in our Christian walks with the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.
Ways to Be Kind
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” — 1 John 3:18 NIV
We can find kindness all around us each day. There are many ways to perform kind acts and care for others:
- Be Generous: Generosity is a way to foster kindness. It could be with your time or money or resources. Being generous requires us to move the focus away from ourselves to someone else and their needs.
- Show Care: Sometimes we may care about others but do not show others we care. There are many different ways to show we care. Perhaps, it’s expressing gratitude for what someone has done. Maybe, it’s praying for someone going through a rough time.
- Treat Others With Respect: Showing others respect is one way to show kindness. Even in situations with disagreements or when we are angry, we can treat others with respect as God’s creation.
- Pay Attention: When we pay attention to the little details around us, we may see where people are hurting. We may notice the needs of those around us. Perhaps, someone needs a hug or maybe someone needs something taken off their plate. Maybe it’s as simple as sending an encouraging text. Meaningful kind acts are often in the small details.
- Build Kind Habits: We can build kind habits by the little things we do that show others kindness. It could be holding the door for someone, perhaps it’s saying good morning or hello to people you come in contact with at class, work or church. Little gestures and habits can make a big difference and may encourage others to begin cultivating kindness.
- Listen to Others: Listening to others also shows we care about them and have their well-being at heart. Sometimes we just need to be quiet, understand and listen to how someone else sees the world.
Examining Biblical Kindness
Jesus teaches the importance of love and kindness. However, the Bible provides more than just a call to kindness but examples of cultivating kindness in action. Here are some examples of kind acts in the Bible:
- Jesus: Throughout the gospels, we can see instances of Jesus’ kindness and compassion toward people. He healed, taught and provided. But more than that, he willingly died for the sins of the world.
- Rahab: In Joshua 2, Rahab hid two Israelite spies from the king of Jericho and his men potentially putting herself at risk.
- The Good Samaritan: In Luke 10:25-37, we can read about the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus told this parable to be a neighbor to someone we love and care about their well-being. The Good Samaritan had no connection or obligation to help an injured man on his path, but he still showed mercy and kindness.
- Joseph: In Genesis 45, we hear of Joseph showing his brothers kindness and care even after they sold him into slavery.
The Bible provides numerous examples of way to foster kindness that we can learn from, particularly when it comes to developing kindness. By studying the stories and teachings of the Bible, we can gain insight into how kind acts can positively impact our relationships with others and bring us closer to our faith.
Do you want to join a kind community of students pursuing their degrees? Grand Canyon University offers both online degrees and in Phoenix, Arizona, on GCU’s main campus. To learn more about this degree, fill out the form on this page.
Approved by the local outreach coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Life on April 18, 2023
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.