When we question ourselves about kindness, the most frequent thought is: how did I show kindness or how can I show kindness in what I say or do? This is another aspect of kindness that God addresses in His Word. 2 Chronicles 24:22. describes a scene where God reveals the sin of not remembering the kindness of others done to us and the consequences that can come from deliberately forgetting. In this time in Israel’s history, Joash was king. He was a good king and restored the worship of the Lord with the help of the priest Jehoiada. Time passed, Joash got old and Jehoidada died and was replaced by his son, Zechariah. Israel fell back into idolatry and the new high priest Zechariah confronted Joash. He counciled Joash to return to God and abandon idolatry. His advice was was met with great resistance. “21 But they (those at court) conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the Lord. 22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but killed his son. And when he was dying, he said, “May the Lord see and avenge! ” Sure enough, Joash was invaded by the Syrians, the city was looted and his officials killed him in his bed for murdering Zechariah the high priest all before the year was done. What lesson can we learn from these events? When we are treated with kindness or kindly, we need to remember who treated us kindly and why. Remembering helps to temper our reactions or actions in the future if things are not so pleasant. Kindness is meant to be accepted, cherished and then repaid out of love. Jesus told us in John 13:34-35 “ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Kindness needs to be remembered and responded to with love, regardless of the passage of time.
Another thought about kindness is the idea of withholding kindness. Job was suffering and told his friends that they should treat him with kindness, not withhold, punish or reject him because of his circumstances. The circumstances and reasons are for God alone to know. Their response should be kindness not judgement. Job 6:14 in the Amplified ““For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not abandon (turn away from) the fear of the Almighty.” I find this verse very convicting as Job’s friends were condemning him for not blaming God. Their kindnesses should have been done or said so that Job would draw closer to God. A sobering thought, is your lack of kindness pushing someone away from God? Kindness is meant to be given to show God’s love and bring someone closer to Jesus as they see Him in our words and actions.
I pray that these thoughts from God’s Word will sink down into your soul and open your eyes to situations where you need to remember how you were treated with kindness in the past and therefore react to a new situation with kindness. Or how you might be withholding kindness when responding with kindness may draw someone closer to Jesus. God can and does transform us through His Holy Spirit so we can show His love to others.