Extending Kindness

by Jalexus McClendon

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience

Colossians 3:12

I want to take the time to talk about one of the most underrated characteristics of Christ; kindness. As the verse in Colossians mentions above, as children of God we are to put Kindness on like a garment. Simply put, as believers we are called to be kind. When I see the words “put on”, I am reminded of Ephesians 6:11 that speaks about putting on the full armor of God. Just as we are intentional about arming ourselves, we must be just as intentional about being kind to others. Now, let me differentiate between being nice and being kind. Being nice, or courteous to others may be easy as it pertains to those that are like-minded, and those that we agree with. But what about the people we don’t agree with? What about those that we don’t have anything in common with? What about those who look nothing like us, talk nothing like us, and have different beliefs from us? What about the people who have wronged us? Is it easy to still be “nice” to them?

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”

Matthew 5:40-43

True kindness does not discriminate at all, yet sadly we can find ourselves picking and choosing who we extend kindness to. We have no problem opening the door for the stranger at the grocery store, but find it difficult to speak to our brother or sister at church that may have offended us at some point. It is a sad narrative and not uncommon to hear that Christians can be some of the nicest people or some of the cruelest. We must be careful to not abandon the responsibility we have to emulate Christ even in the moments where we don’t feel like it. Extending kindness requires us to move past what we
“want” to do and stay concerned with what God has called us to do. There is a “cut off” culture that has seemingly bled over into the hearts and mindsets of believers. May I remind us that we are in the world but not of it. What society deems appropriate is not always going to align with what God says is appropriate. We must not be moved by how popular something may be! We should really take the time to assess what God’s Word says on the topic and continually consider that Kingdom culture is what we as believers concern ourselves with, not man’s cultural norms. We read in Matthew that we are to love our enemies and do good to those that hate us, curse us, and abuse us. So contrary to popular belief, someone hurting us does not justify being unkind. My Spiritual Father would often say “do not allow people to dictate how your heart operates.”

I opened up stating that kindness is one of the most underrated characteristics of Christ. We can pray like Jesus, walk in anointing like Jesus, operate in the power to heal and authority to resurrect like Jesus, but can we be kind like Jesus? We are given the greatest demonstration of kindness extended in unfavorable circumstances when we explore the relationship between Judas and Jesus. Judas was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples and would ultimately be the one to betray Jesus for just thirty pieces of silver. It would be this betrayal that would lead to the Crucifixion of Jesus and fulfillment of Christ’s purpose. Think about that! The opposition you face rather it be from those close to you or your enemies may very well be part of the process to you fulfilling what God has called you to do! Let us explore how Jesus responded to Judas. Jesus was well aware that Judas would betray him. Yet he didn’t put distance between them or “cut Judas off”. He permitted Judas to stay close and did not return Judas’ unkind behavior with unkind behavior.

John 13:21-30, at the Last Supper:

After Jesus said this, he was very troubled. He said openly, “I tell you the truth, one of you will turn against me.” The followers all looked at each other, because they did not know whom Jesus was talking about. One of the followers sitting next to Jesus was the follower Jesus loved.24 Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus whom he was talking about. That follower leaned closer to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “I will dip this bread into the dish. The man I give it to is the man who will turn against me.” So Jesus took a piece of bread, dipped it, and gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus said to him, “The thing that you will do—do it quickly.” No one at the table understood why Jesus said this to Judas.

Jesus responded to Judas betrayal by extending kindness and serving Him. Jesus chose humility when he could have chosen to humiliate Judas. Yet, Jesus discreetly let Judas know that He was aware of what he would do and acted no differently toward him. That is so powerful!

“His divine power has granted to us all things that
pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence… For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and
godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

2 Peter 1:3,5-8

Now you may be thinking that what Jesus did is easier said than done, and to a certain degree you are correct. Galatians 5: 22-23 tells us that kindness is a Fruit of the Spirit. Being kind requires more than human effort and good will. It requires the strength and wisdom which God provides for those who put their trust in him. Kindness is a gift and working of the Holy Spirit who purifies our minds and hearts and who trains and disciplines us in renouncing sin and breaking with bad habits, wrong attitudes, and sinful patterns of speech (i.e. gossip, slander, verbal abuse, unrighteous anger, etc.) I once found myself in a situation that someone appeared to not like me and be unkind to me. It was a very uncomfortable situation because we served together in ministry and this person would go out of their way to ensure I knew how she felt about me, rather it was by way of a casual shady comment, a rolling of the eyes, or not speaking at all when I greeted her. I literally thought back to Jesus and Judas, and did what Jesus did. I invited her out to eat with me! One Sunday service I asked if she wanted to sit down, grab a bite and talk. I had hopes that we could get to know one another and come against any discord. I did not want us to be ignorant to the devices of Satan to cause division. She ended up declining my offer, but I was reminded in that moment that I am only responsible for the love and kindness that I genuinely have and extend. I can not control or concern myself with how others may perceive it as ingenuine.

Please don’t hear what I am not saying. Extending kindness does not mean allow yourself to be walked over or to continue to involve yourself in a relationship that causes you harm. The emphasis is on NOT allowing a person or circumstance to get you out of Christ-like character. Allow kindness to be a constant regardless of the situation. A kind person does not ignore wrongdoing. When correction is needed, it must be done with gentleness. Kindness does not mean “going along” with others in every way. A kind person will correct others, if need be, and his very kindness will be shown by his care and concern for the well-being of his fellow “for whom Christ died” (Romans 14.15).

Kindness looks like Christ. Not for just a season or one day of the year, kindness is for every moment of every day; it’s a habit, a lifestyle, a continual practice. It is intentional, taking time and patience, a giving of ourselves in “the busy,” even when we are “too tired.” And lastly, kindness is for absolutely everyone. As we intentionally show kindness each day, may it shine the light of Christ to a dark, dying world in need of a savior, and a generation in need of love and grace. Be Jesus to someone today and every day; make Him your role model and kindness your lifestyle.

One thought on “Extending Kindness

  1. I Love This! “True kindness does not discriminate at all”

    “We must be careful to not abandon the responsibility we have to emulate Christ even in the moments where we don’t feel like it.”

    You said it and it spoke clearly!! 🙌🏾🔥🙏🏾


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