God gives us a commandment to be kind. It isn’t an option that depends on how we feel. God asks us, that we be kind to one another regardless of the situation.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

If Person #1 is having trouble being kind, things come out of the mouth that aren’t kind. Person #2 does something with good intentions. Person #1 gets upset at Person #2 without even considering the intent of Person #2. Person #1 reacts that way because they have an attitude against Person #2. The kindness of Person #2 will not be reciprocated by Person #1. The scripture says “let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth…” and that includes what we say, or write in an email or on Facebook. If what comes out of our mouth doesn’t minister grace to the hearer, then there isn’t kindness in our heart and we’re not being kind. Everyone has said things in our past that weren’t kind. Before a child grows up, are they really kind? If they want the toy another child has, they take it and it’s all about me and what I want. Kindness is not about me and what I want, it’s about doing things for others. We have to crucify the flesh so we show kind.

An assistant was helping a veterinarian (vet) to splint a dog’s broken leg. The vet accidentally moved the dog’s leg and the dog bit him. The vet told the assistant to keep wrapping the leg. The dog was only reacting because it was hurt, not out of aggression. People may be hurt and respond unkindly to us, but we need to respond with kindness. We can only control us, not anyone else. Jesus didn’t act unkind. It’s our obligation to act kind and we need to ask God to help us act kind. We have to watch that what comes out of our mouth is kind and we aren’t defending and blaming. We won’t show kindness that way. Kindness is defined as showing compassion, pity, sympathy, a gentle spirit, helpful, not condescending, is not compromise, is not fear or railing or anger. Kindness at home, means the wife is to be kind to the husband, and the husband is to be kind to the wife. That means we have to crucify the flesh instead of wanting our own way. If we want to be right, what comes out of our mouth is I want to win because I’m right. Instead of being kind, I’ll be raising my voice, wanting to be heard, and letting him know that this is the way it’s going to be. Kindness help us resolve conflict without finding fault and accusing each other. We’ll do it in a kind and gentle way. You’ll not be kind if there’s bitterness, wrath, anger, or evil speaking. That means sarcasm, gossipping, or belittling. What we say needs to be approved of by Jesus.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice:

God was kind to us before we got saved. Romans 2:4 says “the goodness of God leads thee to repentance…”Goodness is the same Greek word as kindness. It was God’s kindness that led us to repentance. God is kind to the unthankful and to the evil. We shouldn’t be any different. There isn’t any kindness in thinking “well they deserve what they got…” or “I’m too busy to be kind.” Was Jesus too busy to be kind to us? When the good Samaritan saw the man who’d been beaten, he was filled with compassion (kindness). We won’t have kindness if we don’t have compassion but it will be all about us. We have to crucify the flesh if thoughts come to be unkind, get even, or attitudes rise up when people are unthankful and evil to us. It will go against our flesh so we think “why should I be kind when they act evil to me.” Being kind to the unthankful and evil is how we shine for God. We’re no different from the world if we’re not kind. We have to crucify the flesh to be kind.

Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

David was unkind to Saul when he cut off part of his robe in the cave, but was sorry after. He had a chance to kill Saul when Saul was out to kill him, but David didn’t want to kill him. David wanted to show kindness to Hanun’s family because of the kindness he’d shown David. The devil put it in their hearts that David was trying to do something against them. David wasn’t malicious when he sent to comfort Hanun’s servants, but they cut off half David’s mens’ beards and part of their clothes so their buttocks were bare. They were ashamed when they went back to David. He met his men, gave them clothes and said to stay at Jericho until their beards grew back. The devil tries to make us suspicious when someone shows kindness, to think they do it for ulterior motives. The enemy wants people to be suspicious when saints are trying to be kind. We can’t have a suspicious mind and be what God wants us to be. If we’re being kind so someone else will be kind to us, that isn’t kindness. With kindness we’re willing to put ourselves out without expecting anything. God showed us kindness and we didn’t reciprocate his kindness, but it was his kindness for many years that led us to be saved. God spared some of us from death and from a lot of tragedy so he could bring us to repentance. We have to show kindness too. David was looking for ways to show kindness to his countrymen. Do we look for ways to show kindness to the saints, to neighbors, to people we work with? Or is it all about me and what I want, and what makes me happy?

II Samuel 10:1-5…Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him…And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun…Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants…to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it? Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments…to their buttocks, and sent them away…David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.

David was still thinking about being kind when Saul was dead. He was actively trying to show kindness to Saul’s family even though Saul tried to kill him. David didn’t hold it against him or have unkind thoughts against Saul. David called Saul’s old servant Ziba to see if any of Saul’s family were left. Ziba said Mephibosheth who was lame was alive. (His nurse dropped him so his legs were broken as they fled when they heard Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle.) Mephibosheth was completely overwhelmed by David’s kindness to care for him. He felt unworthy because he couldn’t work or do much, but David thought he was worthy. David’s heart was knit together in love for Jonathan, Mephibosheth’s father. David had the same kind of love for Mephibosheth and treated him like a son. His motive of heart was to show kindness. We need to ask if our motive is to show kindness to others. If our motive is “I want this and I want that” then we won’t be asking God how we can show kindness to others. We won’t think of things to show kindness. Our motive should be to show kindness to everyone. When people get mad at us, our response needs to be kindness. If our response is anger like their anger, we’ll have arguments, bitterness, and unkindness out of our mouth. That’s why it’s so important to crucify the flesh every day. We die to self every morning so we put on kindness through the day. It was God’s kindness that brought us to repentance. It will be the kindness of God’s people that helps people come to the Church of God to be saved. We can’t act unkind like the rest of the world and tell others off when we don’t like their actions. They won’t want to come to the Church of God.

II Samuel 9:1-13 And David said, Is there yet any…left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake? And…a servant whose name was Ziba…they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he. And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said…Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet…Then king David sent, and fetched him…when Mephibosheth…was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said…Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul…thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed…said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am? Then the king called to Ziba…said unto him, I have given unto thy master’s son all that pertained to Saul…Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him …that thy master’s son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master’s son shall eat bread alway at my table…Then said Ziba…all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth …he shall eat at my table, as one of the king’s sons…for he did eat continually at the king’s table…

We need to make sure we’re filled with the love of God in the morning and that self is completely crucified, so we show kindness. The testing ground many times is right in the home when there are disagreements. God doesn’t say, if there’s disagreements then it’s ok to be unkind. It’s our obligation if there are disagreements to suffer long and be kind. Everyone will have disagreements. Can you accept when someone has an opinion that’s different from you? If you feel your spouse has to agree with you all the time, you aren’t going to be kind. You’ll want them to agree with you or you’ll be upset. Ten years from now it won’t matter if they agree with you or not. Whether you’re kind is what’s going to matter. A lot of issues are about temporal things, but we all grew up different, think different, and have different things we like. God wants us to be kind when someone doesn’t agree with us and wants their way. Are you willing to crucify the flesh and let them have their way without having an attitude? The wife has to be kind and give her husband what he wants sometimes, and the husband has to be kind and give the wife what she wants sometimes. You don’t have to disagree, get mad, or get upset because you didn’t get your way. Love helps us want to make the other one happy, willing to sacrifice to make them happy. We‘ll always want our way if we’re selfish. God wants us to show his love by being longsuffering and kind.

I Corinthians 13:4-5 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

The Shunamites wanted to show kindness and paid to build a room for Elisha to be comfortable when he visited. Elisha wanted to reciprocate the kindness. He found out that she wanted a child so he said she would conceive.

II Kings 4:8-17 And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. And she said unto her husband …I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber…set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and…when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. And it fell on a day, that he came thither…he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite…Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee?…And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old. And he said, Call her. And…she stood in the door. And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son…And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said…

When the child died, she said it was well because she believed it was. God had performed a miracle for her to conceive. She knew if the man of God came, it would be well. We have to trust the word of God and hold onto it, regardless of how the situation looks. When Elisha came, he prayed, laid on, and breathed into the child but nothing happened. He did it again and the child revived, then he took the child to the mother. She believed if Elisha was able to make it so she had a child, then he had power with God to heal the child. Do we really believe God has power to heal? We need to believe it because God says it.

II Kings 4:26 Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.

(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)