8 Characteristics of Kindness
I recently found my notes from a “kindness” simulcast I attended. Several years ago (Sept 19, 2010) a group of CNC ladies heard Beth Moore at a simulcast hosted by Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church. Beth talked about kindness. Her main text was Proverbs 31:26.
The notes I took are just as applicable today as they were then.
This part, Part Two, will share Beth’s eight characteristics of kindness. I have added some of my own reflections s well.
- Kindness is not a weakness. Beth talked about the difference between kindness and being nice. The Latin definition of nice is “nescius” = ignorant. Meaning that the nice action has a lack of knowledge or awareness. Whereas in kindness we are aware and chose to be kind. She pointed out that kindness is perfectly capable of speaking a harsh word and chooses not to.
- Kindness is not an action; it is a disposition. It is your personal temperament. “Kind” means that something is profitable, fit for use, useful towards others, good-natured. You can fake being nice, but you can’t fake kindness. Kindness infiltrates the whole nature.
- Kindness wears down when we do. Beth explained that one way the enemy works against us is to wear us down so that we are unkind in thought and deed. She said, “We all have someone we need to feel differently toward. When we are worn down, we need to be built up by the body of Christ.” It takes purpose, balanced living, humility, and loving decisions to maintain kindness.
- Kindness looks pain in the face. Beth referenced Job 6:28 where Job says, “Be so kind as to look at me.” She encouraged us to not have face blindness. Be willing to hear more than just “Fine” when you ask someone how they are doing. Don’t be blind. See their pain and let them know you really want to hear about their pain.
- Kindness is a Saviour. Kindness took on flesh and dwelled among us. Jesus not only saved us from the pit of hell, but also from OURSELF . . . From our own sin and bondage! What a revelation! That is awesome kindness!
- Kindness has a good memory. Psalm 106:7 says, “They didn’t remember your many kindnesses and they rebelled.” Remember that God has been good to you! Remember the ways! Remembering the many kindnesses of God will keep you from rebelling against Him.
- Kindness craves an outlet. When you know God has been kind to you, you want to share it with someone else. There is an instinctive need for a response. It might be praise to God. It might be a good deed. It might be sharing with others what God has done for you.
- Kindness leaves a legacy. In Acts 28:1-2, we read that the “islanders were showed unusual kindness.” Beth Moore recently found that on the island of Malta (the same one referenced here in Acts), 83% of the people are still involved in some charitable giving! That is a high percentage. She concluded by saying, “If we’re going to have children who grow up kind in a mean world, it will not be an accident.” They will copy what we do.
During November I am writing or posting a photo about something for which I am grateful. This explains why.
My gratitude posting for November 21: I am thinking about past Thanksgivings: the people, the food, the conversations, the laughter, the playing, the arguments, the loneliness.This is causing me to feel gratitude for God’s dealings with me, my family, and friends.
Your Turn . . .
- Do you think kindness is a weakness? Why or why not? Respond to this idea Beth Moore expressed, “Kindness is perfectly capable of speaking a hard word and chooses not to.”
- Did you know there is such a big difference between being nice and being kind? Does this change your thinking or behaviour?
- Do you find it harder to be kind when you are tired? Is there someone you need to feel differently toward? What will you do about this? How will you get yourself built up by the body of Christ this week?
- Are you guilty of face blindness? If yes, who will you seek out this week to see and listen to?
- Kindness is a Saviour! Take some time to worship Jesus in song, prayer, dance, silence, Bible reading, etc.
- Use your memory to recall God’s kindness. Put these memories in a journal, on a poster, on Facebook, in a poem, or some other way.
- How will you express your kindness this week?
- What kind of kindness legacy is your example and teaching producing? Would you like to do something different? If yes, what?
- If you attended this simulcast, what would you add?
Related Posts . . .
- 10 Acts of Kindness Ideas
- 20 (more) Acts of Kindness Ideas
- Kindness is Valuable, Influential, & Contagious
- Regret Over the Closed Door
- 18 Easy Ways to be Kind (mainly to yourself at www.mindbodygreen.com)
- Are you raising nice kids? A Harvard psychologist gives 5 ways to raise them to be kind (Washington Post)