And be ye kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)
You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other. We condemn others, only because we shun knowing ourselves. When we gaze at our own feelings, we see such a swamp that nothing in another can equal it. That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others. Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgment. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil.
- Saint Seraphim of Sarov
Being kind is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Achieving true kindness takes time and requires a conscious effort on our part. The fruits of the spirit such as love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and kindness will all take time to grow. We sometimes mistake kindness for simply being nice. Kindness is not an individual action but rather a lifestyle to live by. Kindness requires a constant deliberate practice every day. Kindness requires us to put ourselves aside, and seek out the needs of others. Our best example for this is of course our Lord Jesus Christ, who never missed an opportunity to be kind and loving towards all. As busy as Jesus was during his ministry, and as much people followed him around, he always made time for the sick, the poor, the widowers etc.
We are all called to live a life of kindness, to forgive, and to love even our enemies. We ought to follow Jesus’ example and care for the sick, help the poor, and comfort the broken-hearted. Through kindness, we can even soften the hearts of those who might have hurt us. We cannot just choose who to be kind towards. It is easy to be kind to family, friends and people we naturally like. However, Jesus calls us to be kind to the strangers as well.
There are many opportunities to show kindness every day of our life. We have to train ourselves to always be ready to serve others, give them from our time or wealth, to show love, and to preach the gospel. This will slowly lead us to a life of kindness just like our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Col. 3:12)