Kindness and goodness are so closely related that they are often used interchangeably. Kindness and goodness involve an active desire to recognize and meet the needs of others.
Kindness is a sincere desire for the happiness of others; goodness is the activity calculated to advance that happiness.
Kindness is the inner disposition, created by the Holy Spirit, that causes us to be sensitive to the needs of others, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. Goodness is kindness in action – words and deeds. Because of this close relationship, we often use the two words interchangeably.
- God’s Unfailing Kindness
Luke 6: 32-36 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
Eph 2:4-7 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Titus 3: 3-6 “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior…”
What lessons can we draw from these accounts of the kindness of God?
He is kind to all men – the ungrateful, the wicked, the utterly lost and hopeless, the rebellious – without distinction.
Have you ever tried to be kind to someone who was ungrateful? Unless God’s grace was working in your heart in a significant way, you will be unhappy about his/her ungratefulness (Luke 6:35).
- Created To Do Good
Eph 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
The word “walk” suggests our common, everyday experience, not the unusual and heroic.
- Doing Good at Work
Being at work and perform our jobs and that is considered good works.
1 Tim 5:9-10 “9Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, 10and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.”
- Doing Good at Home
Gal 6:10 Paul tells us to “do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
This verse clearly sets the priority of responsibility: first believers, then nonbelievers.
We can also infer from this order a similar priority involving our families.
1 Tim 5:8 “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Good deeds should begin at home. If we are out doing good deeds for others while neglecting the needs of our spouse, our parents, or our children, we are not practicing the grace of goodness.
- Doing Good To All People
- True goodness is self-sacrificing, not only of money but of time.
- True goodness is not only self-sacrificing, it is also untiring
Gal 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”