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I CORINTHIANS 13 (3)
Charity is Kind
Victor M. Eskew
A. In our precious lesson, we saw that love is longsuffering.
1. It is patient, slow to anger.
2. Here, we see the one who loves acting passively.
B. When love does respond to another, we see how it responds positively and actively in the next quality (I Cor. 13:4).
C. It is interesting that people
1. Know what kindness is
2. Want to be treated with kindness
3. Do not act kindly many times in our day-to-day living
D. Again, we will do three things in this lesson.
1. Define kindness.
2. Look at some examples of kindness.
3. Make application of kindness to our lives.
I. THE DEFINITION OF KINDNESS
A. Strong (5541):
1. To show one’s self useful, that is, act benevolently
2. The word comes from a word that means useful (in manner and morals).
B. Thayer: to show one’s self mild, to be kind, kindness
1. To be kind
2. From a word meaning serviceable, good, pleasant, gracious, kind
1. The word denotes to be good-natured, gentle, tender, and affectionate.
2. It is not harsh, sour, morose, or ill-natured.
3. A desire to promote the happiness of all around us.
E. Parrott: “Kindness is love’s readiness to enhance the life of another person” (24).
F. How it is used in various translations
1. Charity is kind (KJV)
2. Love is kind (ASV, NKJV, NASV, ESV, NIV)
3. Love cares more for other than for self (Message).
4. It looks for a way to be constructive (Phillips).
G. If God is love, then He is kind.
1. Psalm 117:2
For his merciful kindness is great toward us…
2. Ephesians 2:7
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Jesus Christ.
II. BIBLE EXAMPLES OF KINDNESS
A. Abraham as he dealt with Lot in regard to the strife between their herdsmen (Gen. 13:8-9).
And Abraham said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen: for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right: or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
1. Abraham was the elder and could have demanded his right to choose.
2. He yielded his rights to the will of Lot.
B. David in his dealings with Mephibosheth (II Sam. 9:6-7)
Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father! And thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.
1. Saul had treated David like an enemy.
2. When an opposing king died, the family was often killed by the successor to rid the new king of any threat to the throne.
3. Just allowing Mephibosheth to live was a blessing. Restoring to him the land of his father and allowing him to eat at the king’s table involved great kindness.
III. THE APPLICATION OF KINDNESS
A. When we think of doing kind things for others, we must understand some basic principles.
1. Kindness comes from small behaviors most of the time.
a. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is wasted” (Aesop).
b. Example: Jesus allowing the young children to come to Him (Matt. 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16).
2. Kindness involves deeds that are not part of duty and obligation.
3. Kindness fulfills the needs of another person.
4. Kindness desires nothing in return: no payment, nor recognition, and no thanks.
5. Kindness operates even in the midst of criticism, sarcasm, and critical judgments of others.
B. Kind actions
1. A husband unloading the dishwasher for his wife
2. Making or bringing a person a cup of coffee
3. Being quiet when someone is sleeping or watching a TV show
4. Put up post-it notes in different places with little sayings like: “You are awesome,” or “Have a great day!”
5. Stop in a stranger’s room at the hospital and wish them well and let them know you are praying for them.
6. Buy someone lunch
7. Write a letter or send a card to someone to cheer them up
C. Proverbs 31:26
She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
1. A smile instead of a frown
2. A pleasant tone instead of being harsh and negative
3. Appreciation instead of sarcasm and criticism
A. You can no more have love without kindness than you can have springtime without flowers.
B. “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again” (Jeremiah, 25).
C. Discuss: What is the kindest thing a person ever did for you?
1. Larry Haines buying me a new bike after mine was stolen from my garage in Jacksonville, FL.
2. Brother Hearn overlooking the fact that I was late to chapel one time.
D. See Ephesians 4:32; Col. 3:12; II Pet. 1:7