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Scripture Reading: Psalm 112:1-6
Character Building: Kindness (Part 3)
1. Col 3:10, 12: The Christian’s character is the spiritual clothing of the new man (2 Cor 5:17). (See Part 1)
2. Kindness requires little definition: Generally, we know what it is and whether someone is being kind toward us.
-“Gracious, good, pleasant”; it treats others fairly, honorably and courteously. “Kindness reaches out to those we care about.”
3. In our text, kindness is a companion of compassion (see Part 2):
a. Fruit of the Spirit, Gal 5:22.
b. Characteristic of love (joined with longsuffering), 1 Cor 13:4.
c. Commanded of us, Eph 4:31-32.
I. GOD IS KIND TO US, Titus 3:4-7.
A. Kindness is Thoughtful, Generous and Sacrificial.
1. Seen in God's favor toward us via our salvation in Christ, 3:4; 2:11.
a. God thought about us, Eph 1:3-5.
b. God was generous toward us, Jno 3:16.
c. God was sacrificial toward us, Rom 5:8 (2 Cor 8:9).
2. In the kindness we have received is our greatest example of how to be kind and why to be kind to others!
II. KINDNESS IS AN ACTION OF FAITH, Lk 10:25-37.
A. Being Kind toward Enemies, Matt 5:43-48.
1. This is a tremendous act of faith.
a. Jesus set the example for us throughout His life.
b. Rahab, Heb 11:31 (showed kindness, Josh 2:12-14).
2. Test of faith to be fair, honorable and courteous; to be thoughtful, generous and sacrificial toward others; to care for someone who has harmed you (or will, if given a chance).
B. Being Kind toward our Brethren, 2 Pet 1:7.
1. The words kind and kin are “kin”. It is assumed by the word that we treat fairly those to whom we are kin; affection and preference, Rom 12:10.
2. Brotherly considerations: Our actions in the house of God toward the children of God must always be guided / directed by the kindness of faith, Eph 4:31-32.
III. THE ADVANTAGES OF KINDNESS.
A. Kindness Overcomes Evil, Rom 12:20-21 (Matt 7:12).
1. It is so in God’s dealings with us. Titus 3:4-5.
2. The victory of kindness when combating evil:
a. We will be acting like God.
b. It is honorable, Rom 12:17.
c. It is the pursuit of peace, Rom 12:18.
d. It defers to and is humble before God, Rom 12:19.
e. It is disarming (melts the hard heart), Rom 12:20.
f. It is rewarded by God, Rom 12:21 (Prov 25:21-22).
B. The Power of Kindness.
1. Kindness has the power to teach.
a. Instills confidence, inspires trust, builds bridges, provides opportunities (can't teach someone who has no confidence in you).
b. Kindness commands respect – it will be heard, Prov 12:18.
2. Kindness has the power to reach. (It is never out of order.)
-Kindness is magnet that draws people to goodness, Matt 5:14-16.
3. Kindness has the power to motivate.
a. It propels us into action, cf. God, Eph 2:4-8.
b. Motivates us to: Teach truth (Gal 4:19); help restore fallen (Gal 6:1); Help the sick, shut in, bereaved, etc. (Gal 6:10).
C. We must be Kind…
1. When we don't particularly feel like it. Kindness is not merely an emotional response; it is a response of faith in God! It is a decision of the heart.
2. To all ages, Lev 19:14, 32.
3. Regardless of whether it is deserved or not. Since when does someone have to deserve our kindness before we will be kind to them? cf. God in Christ, Eph 2:1-3; Rom 6:23
4. In moments of disagreement, Eph 4:31-32.
1. Our character is the clothing with which we clothe ourselves.
2. Is our clothing embroidered and stitched together with the thread of kindness?