Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day

 

World Kindness Day is November 13 this year. And that makes me a bit sad. Not because kindness makes me sad, but because we’ve reached the point where a day dedicated to kindness is even needed. Kindness has become the exception rather than the rule.

What qualities combine to make a person kind? We may think of characteristics such as warmth, gentleness, and sensitivity. However, kindness is more than a warm, fuzzy attitude. Kindness is attitude in action. Kind people are tenderhearted toward the needs of others and are moved to meet the needs they see.

The Bible reminds us kindness is also a characteristic of God. In His mercy, He tenderly cares for His children, meeting our needs. He began with our greatest need, the need to restore our broken fellowship with Him. In Titus 3:4, the apostle Paul spoke of the “kindness of God” appearing in the person of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

God is kindness personified. His tender mercy did not abandon us. Rather, His kindness reached into the ugly world of our sin and met our need at the ultimate cost of His Son’s life. The best sort of kindness in action!

 

How Does This Change Us Today?

New mothers watch their children’s development closely. They celebrate their babies’ growth from infancy to toddlerhood, and on to childhood, adolescence, and youth. Each stage is marked by physical, mental, and emotional milestones indicating that development is progressing as it should. Stunted development in any of these areas reveals a problem.

So what does growing in kindness mean for our walk of faith? The apostle Peter reminded us that if we are the recipients of God’s kindness, our lives will reflect the changes His kindness brings. We should be putting aside our former way of life, no longer behaving as unbelievers. Holding on to anger, hypocrisy, or wrong conversation will stunt our growth.

Do those around us see a difference in our lives since we tasted God’s kindness? If we want people to respond to Jesus Christ, we ought to live in a way that manifests the reality of spiritual birth and spiritual growth. Is there a difference in your life and mine since we “tasted the kindness of the Lord”?

 

What Do Others See?

When I first began working in New York City, I became accustomed to seeing an occasional homeless person begging on the sidewalks. Family and friends cautioned me to resist the urge to give money. They assumed that poor choices led to the beggars’ circumstances and any money received would be used for substances other than food.

Jesus told His followers to meet the needs of those around them. Feed the hungry, show hospitality, clothe the needy, and visit the sick and those in prison. He did not say anything about deserving help. After all, if merit is the determining factor, then He should not have saved us!

So, how did I respond to the beggars on the city streets? When I had the opportunity, I offered to purchase a meal for them from the closest diner or fast-food store. Those who were truly hungry accepted with gratitude. The others declined.

Kindness does not see a need, pat the person on the head, and send them off with a “Praise the Lord, God will provide.” Kindness meets the needs of others in practical ways with the same tender heart God demonstrated to us.

 

God demonstrated His kindness to us in salvation. How does He continue to express His kindness to you as you walk with Him each day? How have you grown in expressing kindness compared to last week, last month, or last year?

 

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5 Comments

  1. Yvonne Morgan

    Wow, that is sad that we need a day to remind people to be kind to each other. I did not know this existed but I will do my best to be extra kind on the 13th.

  2. Melinda Viergever Inman

    Well done, Ava! That’s a good policy for determining when to give. We must listen carefully to the Lord’s leading, for He knows everything about that person. You have a wise approach to giving to those in need.

  3. Melissa Henderson

    Kindness can change the world. Showing the love of Christ should be our goal every day.

  4. Jessica Brodie

    Great article. I think being kind is one of the best ways we can love each other and, therefore, model Christ in the world. Let’s make every day “kindness day.” 🙂

  5. Karen Friday

    Ava, this is great insight on kindness. I like how you said, “Kindness is attitude in action.”

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