< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Kindness

Monday, September 08, 2008


Colossians 3:12 tells us to clothe ourselves with kindness.

Clothe yourself. The Greek word literally means, “put on”. So Paul is telling us when we get up in the morning we should get dressed spiritually and emotionally as well as physically. When we decide what outfit to put on we should also ask “What kind of attitude am I going to wear today.”

Kindness, like the rest of the fruits is a choice. And it’s an action. It’s a practical expression of love. What does it mean to be a kind person and how can we become kind?

1.Be sensitive. Be aware of the needs of people around you. Kindness starts with noticing the needs and hurts of others. Everyone we meet needs kindness because everyone is hurting somewhere!

2.Be supportive. Build people up instead of tearing them down. Give everyone you meet an emotional lift.

3.Be sympathetic. Be there for people when they are going through a trial. The Bible tells us when people are happy be happy with them. When they weep, weep with them. Get excited about the things other people are excited about. Jesus was incredibly kind. We often read about His compassion.

4.Be straightforward. Sometimes kindness means leveling with people. Being frank and telling them where he or she is wrong. “You’re making the biggest mistake in your life.” Or “I’m not going to let you get away with - whatever – and ruin your marriage or career.” We can do this if we are committed to the person’s best interest and if we are going to stick around and help the friend work through it.

5.Be spontaneous. Don’t wait to be kind. Do it every time you have the opportunity. This is one time good intentions don’t count. If you have the slightest inclination to call someone, say a prayer for someone, write a note, do a favor, give a hug…do it! There are as many ways to show kindness as there are people who need it.

Jesus told us the story of the good Samaritan to remind us of all the people around us who are hurting. The number one enemy of kindness is busyness. The Samaritan wasn’t too busy. He didn’t stop and consider if he had time to help or what he would get out of it. He just did it.

It’s a fact of history that the Romans confused the Greek word Christos (Christ) with the word chrestos, which means kind.


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