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First Corinthians 13 stands as one of the most famous chapters in the Bible. The subject is love, and many consider this portion of Scripture to be Paul’s greatest literary work. In verse 4, we read, “Love is kind.”
In verses 1–3 the word love is mentioned three times, in the context of great religious endeavors—which are nothing without love. Then Paul begins to paint a picture of love’s qualities, and one of the first strokes of his brush reveals that love is kind.
Kindness is noted as part of the fruit of the Spirit.1 Love is also in the list, revealing the close connection between love and kindness. Living a life of love marked by kindness is one aspect of living in a way that pleases God.
Kindness is characterized by benevolence and tenderness. A kind person is disposed to help others and to do so with sympathy and consideration. Godly love will make a person kinder. No one can be loving and unkind at the same time.
God is love,2 and that means He is kind. God’s kindness leads to repentance3 and salvation.4 The ultimate expression of God’s kindness is found in “the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”5
Love is kind. May the Lord fill us with His love so that we might be kinder, more forgiving people for His glory.—From gotquestions.org6
You may be sorry that you spoke,
Sorry you stayed or went,
Sorry you won or lost,
Sorry that so much was spent.
But as you go through life you’ll find
You’re never sorry you were kind.
—Herbert V. Prochnow
Little things count. Small acts of kindness can create an atmosphere of love and tenderness. Little things can mean so much, because they show that your loved one was consciously thinking of you and going out of their way to make life a little brighter and better for you, for no outstanding reason other than that they love you and care about you.
Don’t underestimate the value of random acts of kindness. Start a chain reaction of kind deeds, and watch the love in your life blossom. You won’t regret it.—Jesus, speaking in prophecy
Be kind. Remember that everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.—John Watson
Kindness is love in action, love translated into simple everyday terms. It’s being considerate of others. It’s living the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”7It’s turning a blind eye to the flubs and foibles of others. It’s being as tenderhearted and forgiving toward others as God is with you.8
Kindness generates goodwill. Your kind words and kind deeds tell others that their happiness and well-being are important to you, and that makes them want to respond in like manner. Kindness is one of the hardest things to give away, because it’s nearly always returned. Kindness costs nothing, but can accomplish so much. A kind smile or a kind word can make all the difference in the world to someone who’s having a hard day. A little bit of love goes such a long way!
Kindness is a language that everyone understands. As Christians, we are ambassadors of God’s love to others; the kindness we show conveys God’s love and care, and helps draw and win them to Him.—Rafael Holding
Kind words are the music of the world. They have a power which seems to be beyond natural causes, as though they were some angel’s sons which had lost their way and come to earth.—Frederick Faber (1814–1863)
In February 2012, Cory Weissman led out the men’s basketball team of Gettysburg College for their last game of the season. Four years earlier he had suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on one side. Four years of rehab and he was able to walk with a limp, but was still not able to play competitively. But before his stroke he had been on the varsity team, and the Gettysburg coach wanted to give him a few seconds on court as a senior. So Cory was nominated captain and led out the starting five for what was both his first and last game for Gettysburg, for he was now due to graduate.
Knowing the struggle it was just to be there, the crowd and the players from both teams greeted him with wild applause. The Gettysburg coach gave him a few minutes on court before benching him.
With one minute to go, Gettysburg was well ahead and the coach sent Cory back out on court. The Washington coach called time out and instructed his players to foul Cory Weissman. For those who don’t know basketball, this was a very generous act, for it meant Cory would be given two shots at the basket.
Cory takes his place at the free throw line, feels the weight of the ball in his hands, lifts and shoots. It misses badly. But he has a second and final shot left. Again he feels the weight of the ball in his hands, lifts and shoots. This time the ball flies straight through the hoop, and the crowd breaks out in thunderous applause.
The assistant vice president for athletics at Gettysburg, David Wright, later wrote to Washington College: “Your coach, Rob Nugent, along with his … staff and student-athletes, displayed a measure of compassion that I have never witnessed in over 30 years of involvement in intercollegiate athletics.”—From storiesforpreaching.com9
A good deed is never lost. He who sows courtesy, reaps friendship; he who plants kindness, gathers love.—Basil of Caesarea (c. 329–379)
Published on Anchor November 2018. Read by Jon Marc.
Music by Michael Dooley.
1 Galatians 5:22–23.
2 1 John 4:8.
3 Romans 2:4.
4 Romans 11:22.
5 Ephesians 2:7.
7 Matthew 7:12.
8 See Ephesians 4:32.
9 http://storiesforpreaching.com/cory-weismans-basket, reported by Frank Record, “When there’s more to winning than winning” NPR Radio, Feb 22, 2012.