Because I SUCK at life and took so much time to write about KINDNESS, I am going to hit you with a double feature. So I present to you: Kindness and Goodness. Leggo!
I’ve heard it put nicely before that there is a difference between being nice and being kind. Nice, in my opinion, is being considerate of the person at the present moment, assisting them in their needs at the current time. Being kind is taking into consideration the person as a whole, not just who they are right now, but rather seeing what they NEED and not what they WANT right now. Being kind looks at the person as a whole and what will help them become a better individual rather than being nice, which can cater to them in an unhealthy way and at times enable them.
There is a level of niceness that comes into play with kindness but they are not interchangeable terms. When used in Galatians, kindness has a root word that means “bringing no harm”. We are called toward one another, treating them as we would have others to treat us, and to forgive one another of our faults, sins and shortcomings (Ephesians 4:32).
Kindness is not weak. Being kind does not mean that you are a push over and allow others to take advantage of you. Rather, kindness (and goodness) should lead us to be changed in our inner man and causes us to see others the way Christ sees them. We know that Jesus was kind, but firm. He was anchored in His convictions and they were rooted in His nature. If we are rooted in the Scriptures and the unfailing love of Christ, He will transform us into His image (see how everything goes back to love?).
But people don’t deserve to have my kindness rendered to them. Why should I give someone something that they aren’t worthy of? I’m sorry, were your worthy of Christ dying for you? Did you deserve salvation? DO YOU deserve salvation now? In Luke 6, Christ tells us to render kindness even to those who seemingly don’t deserve it…those who are unthankful, feel entitled, and who do not operate their lives as such.
There is a fine line, as I said earlier, between kindness and being nice. It’s a balance. We won’t get it perfect every time, but we are called to walk in this thing.
There was a song I distinctly remember enjoying as a teen when I had thrown away all of my secular music (…or just hid from myself). I was listening to an artist by the name of Flame that had a no-nonsense type of attitude when it came to preaching Christ in his music. The song was entitle Goodness to Repentance. It comes from the scripture Romans 2:4. God’s goodness should lead us to repentance. God’s kindess should lead us to repentance. God never giving up on us should cause us to never give up on Him, but give up on ourselves when it comes to self-salvation. My friends, we will NEVER be able to do enough “good deeds” to be in right standing with Him. HE is the only thing that is inherently good and we are inherently evil (thus the ideology that His goodness should make us want to surrender to Him).
OH TASTE AND SEE that the Lord is good!!
What is goodness? The first thing that comes to mind for me is the separation of evil. Almost everything I hear in the media, from people around, points to self seeking behaviors. If I see it and I want it, it must be good. Good has become a relevant term. No more standard has been upheld for it. But there is a constant. And that constant is Christ. Everything in Him is good. He gives good things to His children. He wants good things for His children. There was no thing in Him that was corrupt. His Word declares that He is good! (Psalm 100:5)
The Greek word than is used for goodness in Galatians is agathosune and is translated as uprightness of heart and life. When goodness dwells in you, you will act selflessly, putting others before you (doesn't that sound like our Savior?). When goodness is in you, you can't help but help others. You can't help but (lovingly) pull your friend aside and show them the error of their ways. You can't help but have joy. You can't help but serve the Lord.