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.

D. I’m sure you would not be surprised if I said that Jesus is a great example of kindness, right?

1. In almost every situation Jesus found himself in, He loved people with kindness.

2. At the wedding at Cana, Jesus turned water into wine to keep the young newlyweds from the terrible embarrassment of running out of wine. How kind!

3. When confronted with a woman caught in adultery, Jesus gently turned the focus on the woman’s accusers and then sent the woman away forgiven. Wasn’t that kind?

4. When confronted with the blind or the leprous, Jesus compassionately and kindly healed them.

E. Another great example of Jesus’ kindness showed itself during a day when Jesus faced all kinds of interruptions.

1. The story is found at the end of Luke chapter 8.

2. One day Jesus was met by a crowd as He returned to Capernaum after healing the demon-possessed man who lived in the tombs on the other side of the sea of Galilee.

3. As Jesus was ministering to the crowd, he was confronted by a man named Jairus who fell at His feet and pleaded with Him to come heal his 12 year-old daughter who was dying.

4. So as Jesus kindly made His way to the man’s house, the crowd continued to press in around Jesus, and Jesus felt that someone touched Him in a way that caused the person to be healed.

5. Jesus stopped the procession and asked to the bewilderment of His disciples, “Who touched me?” “You have a crowd around you, Jesus, what do you mean ‘who touched you?’ ”

6. The woman came forward and explained why she had touched Him and how she had been healed.

7. Jesus kindly blessed her and told her to go in peace.

8. Meanwhile we can only imagine how frustrated Jairus must have been at this delay.

9. When Jesus was about to resume His journey to the Jairus’ house word came to him that his daughter had died and that there was no reason to bring Jesus.

10. Jesus told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid, just believe, and she will be healed.”

11. To make a long story short, Jesus went to the man’s house and brought his daughter back to life.

12. But what I hope we can see from this example is the kindness of Jesus in the midst of the hustle and bustle of His life.

13. Every interruption was a divine appointment to show loving kindness.

F. Jesus not only showed that love is kind by His example, he also taught that love is kind when He told the parable of the Good Samaritan.

1. When Jesus was confronted with the question: Who is my neighbor?, Jesus answered with this story: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said, “and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.” (Luke 10:30-35)

2. After Jesus told the story, He asked the man: “Which of the three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” (Lk. 10:36)

3. The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Lk. 10:37)

4. How often are we more like the first two guys in the story?

a. Those first two guys did not express loving kindness to the man in need.

b. Those first two guys had the attitudes “I want to keep my distance” and “I’m curious, but I want to remain uninvolved.”

c. They were like the rubber necking people who like to slow down and look at the damage at car accident sights.

5. In contrast to them, the Good Samaritan showed the man in need that love is kind.

a. The Good Samaritan saw the needs of the injured man.

b. But the Good Samaritan’s interest didn’t stop with seeing, he then sympathized with the injured man. His heart kicked in and he felt pity and concern for the man.

c. But the Good Samaritan’s pity didn’t stop with just feeling for the man, he then did something about it.

d. The Good Samaritan put love into action – he ministered to the man’s wounds, then took the man somewhere to get more help.

6. Interestingly enough, all three people in the story were on their way somewhere and were likely in a hurry.

a. But if we are going to learn to be kind, we are going to need to be willing to be interrupted.

b. We are also going to need to be willing to take some risks – I’m not talking about acting foolishly or dangerously, but getting involved is always risky.

c. And we may even have to be willing to make a sacrifice to be kind – it might cost us something.

G. Now with those introductory verses in mind, and with the example of Jesus Himself and Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan in mind, I want us to try to get very practical.

1. How can we live a life of love by expressing kindness?

2. Let’s be reminded of what kindness is – kindness means noticing someone else and recognizing their needs.

3. Kindness means seeing the value of every person we meet and trying to act in accordance with their value.

4. And like every trait of a loving person, kindness can be much simpler, and more powerful than we realize.

5. Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

6. When we boil it down, kindness is simply about kind actions and kind words.

7. Kindness, like every characteristic of love, develops over time as we open our hearts and minds to becoming more loving people.

8. We begin by making this commitment: I want to have a life characterized by kindness.

H. Here are some examples of what kindness looks like:

1. Despite his busy schedule during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln often visited the hospitals to cheer the wounded.

2. On one occasion he saw a young fellow who was near death. “Is there anything I can do for you?” asked the compassionate President.

3. “Please write a letter to my mother,” came the reply.

4. Unrecognized by the soldier, the Chief Executive sat down and wrote as the youth told him what to say.

5. The letter read, “My Dearest Mother, I was badly hurt while doing my duty, and I won’t recover. Don’t sorrow too much for me. May God bless you and Father. Kiss Mary and John for me.”

6. The young man was too weak to go on, so Lincoln signed the letter for him and then added this postscript: “Written for your son by Abraham Lincoln.”

7. Asking to see the note, the soldier was astonished to discover who had shown him such kindness.

8. “Are you really our President?” he asked. “Yes,” was the quiet answer. “Now, is there anything else I can do?”

9. The lad feebly replied, “Will you please hold my hand? I think it would help to see me through to the end.”

10. The tall, gaunt President granted his request, offering warm words of encouragement until death stole in with the dawn.

11. That’s what kindness looks like.

I. A woman named Susan Kidd wrote this account: “It happened years ago on one of those raw December days that make people wish they’d done their Christmas shopping in July. Snowflake winds whipped through the street, and hunched on a sidewalk bench sat an unshaven man. He wore a threadbare jacket and shoes with no socks. He’d folded a paper bag around his neck to keep out the biting wind. A shopper paused, saddened by the man. ‘Such a pity,’ she thought. But there was really nothing she could do. While the shopper lingered there, a little girl, maybe 11 or 12, walked by and spotted the frostbitten figure on the bench. Wrapped around the girl’s neck was a bright woolen scarf. She stopped beside the old man, unwrapped the wool scarf and draped it tenderly around his neck and walked away. The man rubbed the warm wool. Then the shopper crept away, wishing that she had been the one to give the scarf. I was that shopper. And God taught me something that day. Wherever I am, whatever I possess there is always something that I can give – a touch, a smile, a prayer, a kind word, even a scarf.”

1. That’s what kindness looks like.

J. Gary Chapman tells this story: “I remember a day I dropped my shirts off at the laundry. When I returned to my car, I found myself sandwiched between two windowless vans. There was no way I could see approaching traffic from either side. A middle-aged man walking across the parking lot saw my plight. He looked both ways and motioned for me to pull out of my cave. I gave a friendly wave and said, ‘Thank you.’ As I left the parking lot, I thought, What a kind man! He didn’t have to do that He could have looked the other way, but he saw my situation and chose to respond with an act of kindness. I still remember this act of kindness though it happened almost two years ago. This man’s simple decision to stop and help me has inspired me to do the same for others.”

1. That’s what kindness looks like.

K. Some construction workers were building a high rise across the street from a hospital.

1. As they were working on the 3rd floor they noticed a little girl standing in the 3rd floor window of the hospital watching them work.

2. One day they looked across and saw the little girl hold up a poster that said, “My name is Lisa. What are your names?”

3. So the next day the construction workers came back with some poster board and magic markers, and they all wrote down their names. “My name is Bob. My name is Bill. My name is Harry. How old are you?”

4. The next day the little girl held up a sign that said, “I am 7 years old. How old are you?”

5. Well, this went on for several days.

6. But one day they noticed that Lisa wasn’t at her usual place in the window. So at break time one of the workers called the hospital and asked for a third floor nurse. He asked if she could tell him anything at all about Lisa.

7. The nurse said that Lisa had taken a turn for the worse and was now in Intensive Care.

8. So the workers pooled their money and bought some flowers, and a card, and wrote a note on it, and sent it to Lisa in Intensive Care.

9. Several days passed by, and then another sign appeared at the window, “Lisa passed away. Thank you for caring!”

10. That’s what kindness looks like.

L. Let me tell one more story – this one illustrates that love needs to be kind even in the face of injustice or ill-treatment.

1. One husband shared this experience: “I had been harsh with my wife by cutting down her ideas and telling her that what she said was not logical. I raised my voice and told her exactly what I thought. She walked out of the room, and I returned to the ball game on television. Thirty minutes later she walked in with a sandwich, chips, and a Coke, all neatly arranged on a tray. She placed the tray on my lap and said, ‘I love you.’ Then she kissed me on the cheek and walked out. I sat there thinking: This is not right. This is not supposed to happen. I felt like a jerk. Her kindness overwhelmed me. I put the tray down, went into the kitchen, and apologized.”

M. What I want us to realize is that kindness is powerful!

1. Frederick William Faber once said, “Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning.”

2. Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can see.”

3. Thomas a Kempis wrote, “Kind words have a power which seems to be beyond natural causes, as if they were some angel’s song which lost its way and came to earth.”

N. Here are some simple, every day ways to practice kindness:

1. Give a store clerk a compliment.

2. Hold the door open for someone.

3. Smile at a child.

4. Let the person behind you in line at the grocery store check out first.

5. Share your umbrella with someone when it’s raining.

6. Visit an elderly person.

7. Mow your neighbor’s grass, rake her leaves, or shovel her walk.

8. Be aware of what makes a friend or family member feel loved, and strive to communicate love in that way.

9. Stop at a child’s lemonade stand and buy yourself a drink.

10. Thank your waitress or waiter for their good service, and tip them well.

11. Tell your spouse, “I appreciate all you do to make my life easier.”

12. Tell your coworker, “Thanks for your hard work on this project. I know you went beyond the call of duty.”

13. That’s just a short list of the millions of ways to show kindness.

O. Life becomes a joyful adventure when we decide to live a life of love and show it through kindness.

1. As you probably know, over the last 20 years or so there has been numerous movements that encourage kindness.

2. They go by different names like: “Random Acts of Kindness” or R.A.K.E. (Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere).

3. In the 2007 movie Evan Almighty, God tells the main character, Evan, that the way to change the world is by doing one Act of Random Kindness (A.R.K.) at a time.

4. Many of us are familiar with the phrase “pay it forward” from Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novel Pay It Forward and the movie adaptation of the same name.

5. All of these efforts prompt us to be gracious and kind toward others, trusting that it will make a difference.

6. We may not ever see the results when we act kindly, but authentic love calls us to serve others simply because we know that when we are kind and loving we are most like our God, and we know that we are pleasing the Lord.

P. So, in conclusion, here’s what I want to encourage us to work on:

1. Try to visualize every person you meet as valuable beyond measure and loved by God.

2. Try to visualize yourself as a transformed person who is in the process of developing the attitudes and actions of true love, including being clothed with kindness.

3. And try to be keenly aware of every opportunity to express kindness in action and in word – at home, at school, at work, and everywhere you go.

4. Be on an adventure of spreading love through kindness.

Q. I hope that we are all learning and growing through this sermon series. Here’s what I hope we have learned so far.

1. All you need is love – it is the key.

2. God is love – He’s the source.

3. God loves you, so you can love yourself.

4. Love is what you do, therefore, be kind, because love is kind.

R. Now I’m going to be kind to you by bringing this sermon to an end.


Love as a Way of Life, by Gary Chapman, Part 2, Chapter 2, Kindness, Doubleday 2008.

Express Kindness, Sermon by Melvin Newland,

It’s Cool to Be Kind, Sermon by Tim Richards,

Love is Kind, Sermon by Dale Campfield,