Kindness is sympathetic
God says, “Love is kind” (1 Cor 13). Kindness is:
Showing sympathy concern and understanding. Unselfish concern for others welfare, compassion and generosity.
When someone tells you about some awful or unfortunate event that happened to them, how do you respond? I’ve found that Christians can be the most callous of them all when it comes to someone else’s hurts and pains — they simply don’t care to sympathize. I’m talking about this subject because a lack of kindness will result in a lack of unity.
Why should we care how others feel? Because Jesus cares and this is the way the kingdom works. No one is detached and everyone is connected. When one part of the body is hurt, the whole body tends to that part. We as sons and daughters of the true God will do the same.
We must care enough to understand what others feel. Sympathy brings comfort to those who experience hurt. When someone takes the time to listen, it makes that situation all the more bearable. The reason why people tell others their hurts is because they feel alone in them. Showing sympathy joins that person and brings emotional support.
Even though the lack of kindness shows itself in both sexes, men are actually taught not to be kind. Kindness is looked at as weakness; and so they learn to cut off kindness becoming careless and callous. In fact, the more callous and ruthless, the better (at least, when in the presence of other males).
This teaching could have possibly come from soldiers in battle – you can’t show compassion for the enemy or you’d risk being killed. This may apply to war, but not the rest of life. It’s not uncommon for a male to have difficulty showing kindness for his family in sensitive situations. Little boys, when hurt, are told to “bulk-up”, “deal with it”. This develops a callous response to sensitive situations.
We as children of God are to show kindness regardless of the world’s view of it. As we understand this important attribute of love and fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) we’ll be able to love our brothers and sisters properly.
Kindness understands and respects the differences of other people.
How do you feel about people who are different than you, perhaps in race, personality, culture, appearance, or profession? Do you try to understand their differences before making judgments? Kindness respects and understands the differences of other people.
There are many differences among us humans and we won’t initially understand them. To understand, you will have to become selfless, humble and active towards people who you feel are foreign. The more we learn about different people, the more we grow. When we don’t try to understand, but rather reject, fear, and disrespect them, we offend those who are different from us and this shows our lack of love. Here are a few examples of common displays of unkindness, where the individual didn’t take the time to try and understand:
A church group doesn’t take the time to understand why their new visitor has spiky, pink hair and black fingernails. Because of her appearance, they reject her with contemptuous stares and comments, causing a stumbling block in her journey toward accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The prejudice white person makes a conclusion about blacks from watching the news – that they’re loud, uneducated, criminal barbarians. So the white person treats blacks with fear, contempt, and disrespect.
The person who assumes that homeless people are in their condition because of drug abuse. Therefore they shun them when they ask for help. The extroverted person who treats the introverted personality-type as if something is wrong with them – because of their quiet nature. The extrovert may reject or patronize the introvert because they prejudge and don’t understand this personality difference.
While homosexuality is a sin, there are many Christians who instantly reject and despise those who engage in it. If gays weren’t so hated by church people – maybe they’d come to Christ. Often, Christians are the first Jesus they’ll ever see. We are to hate the sin, not the person.
Simply asking the question of why and how can go a long way into learning and understanding the differences in people. Don’t always assume you understand – this is pride (which isn’t love either). And even if you don’t “get” a person – respect them anyway. We ought to do to others as we want done to us (Matthew 7:12). Would you like to be rejected, treated with disdain or disrespected, or even feared, because of your differences? No one does. Try to understand people’s differences, and if not, show respect – this is how we show love.
Helping others in Need
A certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and saw he saw him, he had compassion on him. (Luke 10:33)
Like the good Samaritan, Jesus saw people who were hungry both physically and spiritually, and so he fed them (Matthew 15:32, 9:36). Jesus saw that the people were bound by evil spirits and so he removed those spirits. Jesus saw people’s sicknesses and he healed them (Matthew 14:14; 20:34, Mark 1:41, Luke 7:13).
As Jesus was compassionate towards others needs, so should we. When we see a need we should help. We shouldn’t just pray, but be an answer to prayer. If our brothers and sisters need shelter, clothing, food, gas money etc, we should be the first to contribute.
Likewise, with the world, we often see the homeless and those who’ve fallen on hard times. Our response should be sympathy and support. This is love. The bible says:
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18)