“And Be Ye Kind…”
I stand guilty as charged. I am that person who cannot scroll past an animal video that was randomly posted on social media. Talk about cuteness overload! And if that video happens to involve anything feline-related, they got me; I am in, hook, line, and sinker. Today’s furry-friend feature was so adorable that I mustered up all my techy skills and took a screen shot of the subjects. Since I am the caretaker of four feral kitties of my own, and have witnessed firsthand my share of food battles amongst my little herd, I was expecting a run-of-the-mill rendition of two cats being greedy over dinner. But I was about to be proven dead wrong. I watched in awe as these two cats shared their bowl…one would munch a little grub and then use his paw to push the food toward the other cat, who would then munch a few morsels and push the bowl back toward his buddy. The pattern of sharing continued for the length of the video…just two kitties being kind.
My Bible study recently revolved around the life of David, the tender-hearted, yet fearless shepherd boy who ascended from his humble beginnings to the role of king of Israel, and more importantly, to become an important link in the lineage of Jesus Christ. I am always curious as to how this imperfect man, this man who would later fill the roles of both adulterer and murderer, could possibly be “a man after God’s own heart.” What was his secret? Oh, how I would love to have that said of me at the end of my days: Yes, I knew her, she was a woman after God’s own heart. What a striking epitaph that would be!
I may be guessing as to the reason for God’s loving description of this shepherd’s heart, but as far as I am concerned, one of the finest attributes of David is the fact that he displayed genuine kindness. Scripture tells us that on two separate occasions, when the opportunity clearly presented itself, David refused to kill Saul, the backslidden king who was desperately trying to murder him. It was David who spared the life of Nabal, the arrogant farmer who defied David by refusing to share his harvest with David’s faithful men. And when David finally rose to the position of power, he did not forsake that quality of kindness. The sweet psalmist lavished kindness and compassion upon Mephibosheth, the lame grandson of King Saul, and withheld wrath and punishment from Shimei, a godless enemy who had blasphemed him.
We are admonished time and again by none other than the Lord Jesus Himself to show kindness, whether it be toward our enemies (“But love ye your enemies, and do good…”) or toward our fellow believers (“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love…”). Christ emphasized the importance of kindness while relating to His followers one of the most familiar of parables, the scenario involving a compassionate Samaritan who showed awe-inspiring kindness to the victim of a vicious burglary.
“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” His kindness toward us…think of that! I have been the recipient of God’s abundant kindness. When I ponder the sacrifice my Savior offered in my stead, when I am reminded of the unmerited grace that is available to me, when God’s forgiveness is on constant display in my life, I understand more clearly the importance of kindness. Any kindness that flows from me is based in the marvelous kindness God has extended to me. Perhaps by sharing God’s kindness to those around me, I can strive to be a woman “after God’s own heart.”
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
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