It is God’s modus operandi. The thread that runs through redemption. The inevitable upshot of a selfless life. A fruit of the Spirit that yields an exponential harvest. Kindness…
Perhaps no other book in the Bible portrays it as clearly as the book of Ruth. Ruth exuded kindness to her bereft mother-in-law when she left her own country in order to care for her. Not thinking of her own desires, Ruth subjected herself to the backbreaking work of gleaning enough grain in the fields to sustain them. She was even willing to place herself in the awkward position of asking their kinsman, Boaz, to marry her to insure Naomi would be provided for. Such concern for another’s interest was not lost on Boaz. He praises her, “You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich” (Ruth 3:10).
Boaz recognized kindness because he was no stranger to it in his own life. When Ruth worked in his fields, Boaz had instructed his workers to leave extra grain for her to gather. He was even willing to jeopardize his own inheritance in order to redeem Naomi’s property and marry Ruth. The ripple effect of their acts of kindness reached beyond their wildest dreams: they become ancestors of the kindest man who ever lived…the Savior of the world.
Illustrations of Jesus’ kindness abound throughout scripture.…
He didn’t have to strike up a conversation with the Samaritan woman. Weary and thirsty, how easy it would have been to simply ignore her. But in kindness he extended himself to her (John 4). He could have sent the hungry crowds who had been following him for days home to fend for themselves. That’s what his disciples suggested. But his kindness toward them resulted in a miraculous provision of food (John 6). Even on the cross when he was suffering excruciating pain, he extended kindness to his mother by making sure John would care for her (John 19:26-27).
There’s nothing random about kindness when “random” implies lack of direction or purpose. Acts of kindness are intentional decisions to go out of our way to help someone else. The disposition of putting another’s interest ahead of our own packs a powerful punch. Just the kind of punch our world so desperately needs.
Just the kind you have to offer….