“What is desired in a man is kindness, 

And a poor man is better than a liar.” 

(Proverbs 19:22)

A kind person is one who possesses and demonstrates a friendly, generous, and considerate nature toward others. This sentiment recently caught my attention:

“The longer I live, the more I notice how valuable it is to do one simple thing: be kind.

 – When someone does a good job, tell them.

 – When someone makes a mistake, forgive them.

 – When someone tells you their problems, listen.

 Being kind barely costs a thing. You’ll hardly remember you did it, but the other person may never forget that you did.”James Clear

In this world, followers of Jesus Christ are disciple-makers, heralds of good news, and culture influencers. Making disciples and heralding the gospel contributes to the fulfillment of Jesus’ commissions in Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15. Cultural influence is a fruit of personal and corporate character maturity. Jesus told his disciples YOU ARE the salt and light of the world (Mathew 5:13-14). Jesus also likened His kingdom to leaven (Matthew 13:33). One of our goals as influencers is to create a kinder culture.

Kindness is an attribute of God’s character:

“For His merciful kindness is great toward us. The truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 117:2)

“He is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” (Luke 6:35)

“that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7)

“if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” (1 Peter 2:3)

Kindness is an attribute of Jesus Christ:

“My yoke is kind, and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30) 

“But after that, the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,”     (Titus 3:4)

Kindness is an attribute of love:

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;” (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Kindness is an attribute of the Holy Spirit:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23)

Kindness is an attribute of the virtuous woman:

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.”          (Proverbs 31:26)

Kindness is an attribute of relationships in the Body of Christ:

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;” (Romans 12:10)

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

Kindness is an attribute of a mature disciple:

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering;” (Colossians 3:12)

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.” (2 Peter 1:5–7)

One of the less kind facets of our culture is the political arena. The excuse, “Well, that’s just politics!” does not resonate with cultural influencers. Influencers have a vision for a kinder political process. Personally, I find the name-calling practiced by some political leaders nauseating. Did your parents share this little poetic ditty with you as you were growing up? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” My parents’ recitation of that ditty was usually accompanied by instruction. I was taught that it was wrong to call other people names. I was taught to love even my enemies and not to disgrace them through name-calling.

Truth is that being called names is hurtful and demeaning for the person being called a name. Equally significant is that name-calling reveals the absence of virtuous character in the one engaged in this practice.  

The photo of former First Lady, Michele Obama, and Former President George W. Bush, featured in this blog, inspires hope for our political process. During a recent interview with the Today Show’s Jenna Bush Hager, (George W. Bush’s daughter), Michele Obama said she has found common ground with the former president despite their opposing views. “Our values are the same,” Obama said. “We disagree on policy, but we don’t disagree on humanity. We don’t disagree with love and compassion. I think that’s true for all of us . . . many people often get lost in our fear of what’s different instead of displaying kindness and bonding over similarities.”

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