“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” Quote by Aesop.
Today’s study on the fruits of the Spirit looks at the virtue of kindness.
Merriam Webster Definitions and Synonyms of Kindness
- an act of kind assistance
- the capacity for feeling for another’s unhappiness or misfortune
- sympathetic concern for the well-being of others
- courtesy, grace, mercy, bigheartedness, compassion, humanity, sympathy, charity
Definitions and Synonyms of Kindness from Lexicon and Concordance by E.W Bullinger
active beneficence in spite of ingratitude
- benevolence, benignity, philanthropy
Greek word for Kindness
The ancient Greek word for kindness is chréstotés. It has the connotation of “meeting needs”. I find this really interesting because it means that kindness is not just being polite to someone but it is also meeting their need. When I tapped my husband’s brain for his interpretation of chréstotés, here was his thoughtful response, “It has the basic sense of excellent, useful, serviceable and adapted to a purpose; in other words, the shades of meaning for the Greek word ‘chréstotés’ involve practical and useful service, not just kindly feelings as we might think from the English word ‘kindness'”.
Favorite Verse on Kindness
- “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart”. Proverbs 3:3
Final thoughts on Kindness
I usually think of kindness as generically being nice to someone else. But it goes much deeper than this. There is an element of empathy where we feel what the other person is going through. When we extend an act of kindness, we are connecting on a level that draws us into the world of the other person and this expresses the notion “I understand”. It is not always possible to completely relate to what other people are going through but empathy and generosity are certainly facets of kindness.
The person who is receiving the act of kindness may not always be deserving or grateful. This can turn us off from wanting to help further. But kindness overlooks weaknesses in others and is gracious towards someone despite their flaws. More and more, I see God’s grace towards my own failings and I wonder where I would be if he did not extend his kindness and mercy towards me daily.