“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return … For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.”

-Luke 6:35 (NKJV)

It’s  easy to be kind to people when they are kind back to us. But what about those who aren’t so kind to us? Is kindness only meant for people who deserve it? Well, according to Luke 6:35, if we really want to live a life that shows Jesus to all of those around us, then no, we need to be kind to everyone!

Let’s take a look at the ministry of Jesus. The story we are going to look at is found in John 18:1-11 and Luke 22:47-51. Jesus had just come from the Garden of Gethsemane where He was praying and dedicating Himself to His Father’s will. Jesus knew that in a few moments He was going to be handed over to be beaten, mutilated beyond recognition, whipped, and nailed to a cross where He died for all humanity. After praying so hard that He literally sweat blood, He rose up from the ground, walked back to His disciples, and there He saw an army of Roman soldiers and officers coming to arrest Him. They were being led by Jesus’s own friend and disciple, Judas. Judas walked over to Jesus and kissed Him on His cheek, signaling to the troops that this was the Man to be arrested.

“Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.” -John 18:10

But Jesus stopped Peter and said to him, “… Shall I not drink of the cup which My Father has given Me?” Then Jesus knelt down, looked at Malchus in the eyes and touched the man’s ear and He healed him.

Jesus didn’t owe Malchus anything. In fact, Malchus was the servant of the high priest, one of the men that was responsible for His arrest and crucifixion. If anything, Malchus deserved to get his ear chopped off (that’s what Peter was thinking)! But that isn’t what a heart of kindness says. That isn’t what Jesus says. Jesus looked in the eyes of a man that was bringing Him to be publicly humiliated and put to death and saw it fit to heal him regardless of what he was about to do.

In the same way, having never sinned, He hung on a cross and became the sin that you and I committed so that we could be redeemed. We put Jesus on the whipping post, and we nailed Him to that cross, but He still chose to die for us even when we didn’t deserve it.

That is kindness mapped out and defined.

Kindness is more than doing nice things for people. Kindness is even more than sharing a smile and giving a few compliments to people throughout the day. Kindness starts in the heart! True kindness goes the extra mile. It goes beyond what someone deserves. It’s a risk, because you may not get kindness back. It’s easy to be kind to people who are kind back. But your level of kindness hasn’t really been tested until you have been treated poorly by someone. After all, Jesus didn’t die to save only the people that loved Him. He died for the people that crucified Him too, and there wasn’t a guarantee that they would love Him back.

Know that when you accept Jesus into your heart, God literally comes and lives inside of you. In 1 John 4:8 it says that “God is love”, and in 1 Corinthians 13:4 it says that “love is kind”, so when you receive Jesus, you receive kindness on the inside of you.

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Today, keep your mind focused on what a heart of kindness looks like, and keep your eyes on Jesus and His Word, you will discover that things like kindness are as much a part of you as your own name-such kindness for people that you think don’t deserve it. Look for opportunities to go out of your way to do something kind for someone who may not completely deserve it; go the extra mile.

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“Father, I am so thankful that you’ve given me a spirit of kindness and that You’ve shown me what true kindness looks like through Your Son, Jesus. Lord, continue to show me throughout the day what a heart of kindness looks like on the outside. I thank You for Your grace that is able to keep this heart and attitude alive in me today. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

-Nathan Waples

5FA Intern