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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Lee

Characteristics of Christ | KINDNESS

A 40 Day Journey to Becoming Like the One We Follow

Day 7: Kindness (Matthew 7:12)

Many of us grew up learning "The Golden Rule." It comes from Matthew 7 in the Sermon on the Mount. But this concept was not unique to Jesus. Before his time there was a similar ethic, "Whatever you don't want someone to do to you, don't do it to them." In other words, live and let live.

But Jesus' instruction flips that on its head. It's not just live and let live. It's about actively showing love, respect, and kindness to people. It forces us to put ourselves in other people's shoes. If we were in their situation, how would we want people to treat us?

How would you want customers to treat you if you were their server? How would you want a coworker to talk to you if they disagreed? It gets us to think outside ourselves and empathize with the situations of others.

Jesus was always kind to those the world had discarded. His conversation in John 4 with the Samaritan woman was unbelievably kind and empathetic. When he touched the leper, he was extending a kindness to the man who hadn't had human contact in forever. When he turned water into wine, he did so extravagantly - 120+ gallons of the best wine. What a wedding gift!

But there's a difference between being Kind and being Nice. Being nice is all about social manners and being polite. Anyone can fake being nice, because it doesn't really come from a place of genuine compassion or empathy. There are no feelings behind niceness. There really is a difference between someone just being nice to you and someone showing kindness.

Jesus wasn't always nice, especially to the religious leaders. But he always showed kindness to those on the fringes of society. Let's follow his lead. Be intentionally kind to people you interact with today.

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