Put on Kindness
Article by Margaret Hill, Student at Southern California Seminary
This Blog is a re-post from the Girl Talk Blog
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved,
put on tender mercies, kindness,
humility, meekness, longsuffering
You might be surprised by what it really means to “put on kindness”. The Greek word for kindness is chrestotes and it describes the kindliness or sweetness of temper which puts others at their ease, and shrinks from giving pain. It is the opposite of severity or cutting something short and quickly. Chrestotes is translated “good,” “kindness,” or “gentleness.” It is the grace which pervades the whole nature, mellowing all which would be harsh and austere. The word is descriptive of one’s disposition and does not necessarily entail acts of goodness. It describes a quality that makes other people feel at ease when they are with you. They know you will be kind or gentle. It has been said that chrestotes is a beautiful word for the expression of a beautiful grace.
It was David who asked this:
Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul,
to whom I may show the kindness of God?”
2 Samuel 9:3
We know from Psalm 63:3 that David praised God for His loving kindness and even referred to God’s loving kindness as being “better than life”. David had pledged to Jonathan that he would never forget the covenant of friendship that had bound them together and reached out with kindness to invite Jonathan’s lame son, Mephibosheth, to live at the palace and eat at the king’s table. David had eaten at Saul’s table and it had nearly cost him his life, but Mephibosheth would eat at David’s table and for the rest of his life be a recipient of his kindness. David’s gesture of kindness to Mephibosheth reminds us that it was God who first reached out to us.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
As we extend an attitude of kindness to the women around us, we will be inviting them to draw closer to Christ. We live in a cruel world, evidenced just yesterday as we watched the bombing at the Boston marathon take innocent lives and cripple many. In 2 Timothy 3:3 we are warned of people in the last days that will be “without natural affection”, in other words, hard hearted. Kindness is a rare commodity out in the world, and when it is extended it is noticed and appreciated. This attitude of kindness is what attracted people to Jesus. They were “drawn in” by His love and acceptance. Ask yourself David’s question today:
Is there someone to whom I may show the kindness of God?
Do I act with kindness toward others so that they are at ease in my presence or am I unapproachable, appearing to give those around me a cold shoulder?
Remember God’s kindness to you this week,
that it might inspire your intentional kindness to others.