Summary: In this sermon, we explore how to love others through kindness.
A. One day a minister who was a very kind man and loved to serve others noticed a young boy trying to press a doorbell on a house across the street.
1. Because the boy was so little and the doorbell was so high, he couldn’t reach it.
2. After watching the boy’s efforts for a moment, the minister crossed the street, walked up behind the little fellow, asked the boy if he could help him ring the bell.
3. The little boy grinned and said, “yes, please.”
4. The minister gave the doorbell a solid ring, and then crouched down to the child's level, and asked, “And now what else can I do for you little man?”
5. The little boy answered, “Now you can run and hide with me!”
B. Today, as we continue our series “All You Need Is Love,” I want to talk about the fact that love is kind.
1. The Bible teaches us that love is kind, and therefore, kindness is important.
2. 1 Corinthians 13:4 simply says: “…love is kind...”
3. In 2 Peter 1:5-8, Peter wrote: For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
a. I have always been so captivated by the promise of verse 8 – if we will possess those qualities in increasing measure then they will make our lives effective and productive.
b. Do you get that? If we will develop these qualities, including kindness, our lives will be so much better!
4. Another important passage that includes kindness is Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
a. This is that famous passage that points to the positive effect of the Spirit of God working in our lives.
b. If we allow God’s Spirit to work in us and on us, then we will develop these positive characteristics, including kindness.
5. Allow me to point to one final passage as we begin this lesson about love being kind, and the passage is Colossians 3:12, Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
a. I like that passage so much because it begins with our identity and our motivation.
b. We are God’s special people, chosen and dearly loved by God.
c. Because that is who we are, then there is a way that we are supposed to act.
d. And how are we supposed to act? We are supposed to be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient.
e. But beyond even that, we are not just supposed to act that way, Paul says that we are to clothe ourselves with those characteristics.
f. Our lives are to express the fact that we are enveloped and characterized by that kind of presence and being.
g. Consider the opposite of those characteristics…we are not to be clothed or characterized by being cold, uncaring, unkind, arrogant, harsh and impatient.
h. How ugly we would be if we were characterized by those things!
i. But, oh, how attractive we are when we are clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience!
C. Hopefully, after looking at those verses, we are clear about the fact that kindness is something that is important for us to have and to be.
1. So now we have to wade into an important question: If a fruit of the Spirit is kindness, and if we are to be clothed with kindness, and if love is kind, then just what is kindness and what does it mean to be kind?
a. How’s that for a long question?
2. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines kindness as “the quality or state of being kind, a kind act”
a. Don’t you just love those kinds of definitions?
b. What is kindness? Well, it is the state of being kind, of course. Thank you, that helps a lot!
3. And what does it mean to be kind?
a. The online dictionary was a little more helpful with this definition.
b. Being kind is “having or showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others; wanting and liking to do good things and to bring happiness to others.”
c. So, kindness has to do with gently helping others.
d. Kindness has to do with doing things that bring happiness to others.
e. Therefore, kindness is love in action as we focus on responding to others in a gentle fashion and as we seek to serve their needs.