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Friendliness and Generosity for God’s Sake

Friendliness, generosity and sympathy are all different ways to be kind and should affect us all in some aspect of our lives as children of God.

Kindness was shown to my mother when she was seven years old and her mother was in the hospital with her newly born premature son.  A family friend took my mother into her home, looked after her, and even helped her across busy intersections as she walked several blocks to school.  Now this same woman is in need of help today as she lies helpless in a rest home.  Since my mother remembers this kindness that she was shown as a girl, she repays with many frequent visits to her.  My mother learned to look for people who are in need of help and do the best she can to help them.

Kindness is closely associated with love and charity for the child of God.  I John 4:10 portrays this love, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  God showed His kindness by sending His Son to die for us and give us eternal life with Him in heaven.  As a result of this salvation, we produce good works, one of which is kindness.

Titus 3:4 explains “that the kindness and love of God, our Saviour, toward man appeared.”  I John 4:11 says, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”  We can’t show this love for our neighbor without being kind to him.  Rev. Herman Hoeksema tries to make this clear in his book, Love Thy Neighbor for God’s Sake, explaining Lord’s Days 30-44: “When God forbids envy, hatred and anger, He commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves; to show patience, peace, meekness, mercy and all kindness towards him…as much as in us lies.”

If we have the readiness that we ought to have in us to demonstrate God’s word and how it affects us, then this must spur on kindness toward friends and enemies.

In II Samuel 9, David showed this when he sought to show kindness for at least one of Saul’s kin, even when Saul tried to kill him several times.  Paul was willing to take the blame of Onesimus, recorded in Philemon, verses 17-19.

As one wise person once said, “Be kind to one another; for if you look into a mirror when you happy and then when you are angry, you would see how differently you appear on each occasion.”  It is true that a person feels much better about himself if he helps someone in need; however, the real motive should be to honor and glorify God’s name and not ourselves.