I recently lost my kayak. Yes, it was an embarrassing moment, but let me explain. I had been out kayaking alone one afternoon and storm developed very quickly. As I hurried back to shore a hard, driving rain began to pour and I could hear thunder in the distance. Once I had my kayak (partially) on the shore I stepped a few feet away to open the bed of my truck. And to my dismay when I turned around to get my kayak it was headed back across the water… without me.
Thankfully I had another kayak available so I could retrieve the lost one, but it was still storming. As I returned to shore with my rogue kayak in tow a stranger pulled up and offered to help me load the kayaks. Their unexpected act of kindness was pleasant conclusion to the whole ordeal.
As I reflect on that stranger’s kindness I am reminded of God’s kindness to me and my calling to demonstrate the kindness to others. In Luke 6:35 Jesus says, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” The Lord is kind when it isn’t deserved or appreciated. He uses his power and resources to ensure the welfare of others, without the expectation of return. And his kindness doesn’t simply inspire us to be nice people, it transforms us into new people.
When a person experiences God’s kindness it leads them to turn away from evil (Rom 2:4), it makes them tender-hearted and forgiving (Eph 4:32) and willing to share the troubles of others (Phil 4:4). The fruit of kindness is also seen when believers do the hard work needed to maintain peaceful relationships with others (2 Tim 2:24), especially within their own home (Titus 2:5). Who doesn’t want people like this as their boss, co-worker, friend or significant other? Kindness is so attractive. Not just beautiful to observe, but it draws us like a magnet.
Be encouraged and challenged by these things. Take time to survey the kindness God has shown you and be thankful. Then, with a heart full of gratitude, consider how you can extend God’s kindness to those in your home, office, neighborhood or community.