Living Love: Love Is Kind


February Series: Living Love
Musing 4 of 4 – Love Is Kind


But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. —Titus 3:4-7 NIV

There’s a difference between being civil and being kind. Quite frankly, it’s much easier to be civil. Simply being courteous doesn’t require much more than a please or a thank you. Sometimes, it just means ignoring weird behavior instead of mocking it. Our society runs better when we are civil. Basic politeness is a good thing.

However … God asks more of us than simple civility. He asks us to love, and that means being kind. And kindness costs. Kindness requires involvement on our part. Kindness cares and is willing to show mercy and generosity of time and resources. Almost anyone can be civil when they choose to be, but kindness requires the sacrificial love that is especially found in Christ’s followers when we follow the patterns He set for us.

Jesus gives us examples of kindness in his Sermon on the Mount. His words shock us as He outlines how we are to live differently from the rest of the human race:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” —Matthew 5:38-46 NIV

Looking at one of Jesus’ examples, a civil person in His day would have obeyed with polite detachment if a Roman soldier asked him to carry a load for a mile. That civil person would have been on his way as soon as that odious chore was done. Jesus asked for more. Perhaps the soldier was genuinely exhausted. Maybe he was mean and ornery because his father beat him as a kid, or perhaps his wife had left him. Whatever the reason—or no reason—Jesus asks us to extend kindness to the very one who is rudely demanding. He wants us to actively seek the good of others. In this case, that required a Christ follower to carry that load an extra mile as a kindness.This is radical. Kindness is hard. Civility might mean someone bumps you in line, and you ignore it. Kindness asks that person if they’d like to go ahead of you. Civility listens politely to someone’s story and then tells their own story. Kindness asks deeper questions about the other’s story and is willing to linger over it before sharing their own. Kindness costs us.

Long ago, kindness cost Jesus His very life. He did not come to earth to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. As Titus tells us in our verses above, he came to show us mercy, despite the fact we hadn’t earned the salvation He gave us at the cost of His own sacrificial death.

We will not be known as Christians “by our love” if we are merely civil. As Jesus pointed out in the Sermon on the Mount, just about anyone can be friendly and loving to those who do the same to them. We are called to a deeper way of life. Love is not merely civil. Love is kind. And kindness moves the heart because the one receiving kindness feels loved, valued, noticed. Let’s be kind. Let’s show the world the unique type of love our Savior showed for us, and in so doing, let’s point that weary world to Him.

Heavenly Father, forgive my selfish ways. I’d so much rather be merely polite in so many instances. Quicken my heart with love and compassion for the ones who especially need a touch of kindness. Help me not to think about whether they deserve it. Help me to remember You poured out kindness on us, who certainly did not deserve it. Enable me to be more like You. Thank You that You are love, and love is kind. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

You are loved,




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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