Today’s blog comes from someone who exemplifies kindness-a dear friend named Stella. Stella has written a book and here is some information:
These posts come from Book Two of a four book series entitled, ‘Thanksgiving. The Power to Transform Your Life. By Stella Doggett.
This book contains the second three months of a year’s Daily Devotional reflections which started life as a daily Blog in 2021. You can find all 365 on coloursoftherainbow.org, or if you would like to know more about Stella or her work, or would like to order a book you can email her on firstname.lastname@example.org
Leading up to Easter, I will be posting some reflections on the deep deep kindness of God.
A huge thank you to Stella for her contribution. Enjoy!
The Kindness of God
Kind is defined in the Oxford English dictionary as being ‘of a gentle or benevolent nature, showing friendliness and affection’. It is a beautiful quality, and not one that is easy to define or quantify, but kindness is something that we know and recognise when it is extended to us.
Kindness can often be the thing that ‘undoes’ you when you are hurting, or struggling to hold yourself together. It is something we see much of during a crisis or disaster, and to be on the receiving end of kindness implies that we are in receipt of something that we have neither earned, paid for, or have a right to. It could be something simple like an encouraging word spoken to us showing us care and understanding, or someone who has been paid to serve us like a nurse, going over and beyond the call of duty, to ensure our safety and comfort.
Kindness is something that we can all give and receive, but it is not something that one necessarily associates with the power and might of someone who is infinitely superior in every way. Relationships with a power imbalance can be unhealthy for the one with the least power as often, when someone has power and/or superiority it may lead to bullying, manipulation and forcing people to do what they don’t want to do. The exact opposite of kindness!
When we receive ‘kindness’ on the other hand, it shows us that the giver of that kindness has an understanding of us and our situation, and that they have a ‘care’ for us and our well being. How wonderful then that our ‘all powerful’, omnipotent God reveals Himself as ‘compassionate, and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth;’ Exodus 34:6 NASB. This is how God revealed Himself in the Old Testament, and then Jesus came to demonstrate for us what God’s kindness would look like in human form.
I love it that quite often the translators of the bible put kindness and love together to describe this characteristic of God. And there is such extravagant language here – our God is ‘abounding’ in this wonderful quality, no shortage here! We have the most amazing God. He is omniscient and omnipotent; all knowing and all powerful, and yet He is wonderfully kind.
Kindness is one of the hallmarks of God in His dealings with us. It is an essential part of His nature. We know this because it is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit, although it may be one we pass over sometimes in favour of love, joy and peace!! Galatians 5:22. Paul reflects, in Romans 2:4, that God’s kindness, can actually bring people to repentance and into His family. No coercion here only love and grace and kindness to draw us!
David and Jonathan knew all about this quality of God’s – this kindness. We read that, before he died, Jonathan asked David to show him the loving kindness of the Lord by extending that same kindness to anyone left in his family after he and Saul had gone. (1 Samuel 20:14,15). This David did by asking, ‘Is there no one still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?’ 2 Samuel 9:3. It was not something Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, was expecting. David had the power, Mephibosheth none!
David well understood God’s kindness and many of His psalms are thanking and blessing God for that ‘loving kindness’. He had such a grasp of this aspect of God, and he revelled in it in his praise and thanks to God. We know that David was a man after God’s own heart, (Acts 13:22), and I believe the Lord wants us to be like David, learning to ‘see’ and revel in His overwhelming kindnesses to us. Giving thanks to God for all His kindness throughout the day, will do just that. And as you express your gratitude to Him it will surely heighten your awareness of His kindness towards you.
As you start (or continue) your journey into a lifestyle of ‘Thanksgiving’, sing or speak out loud these beautiful words that David wrote, and remind yourself of the wonderful thing that it is, to have a God who combines power and glory with kindness.
‘So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary to see Your power and Your glory. Because your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. So I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in your name….. You have been my help and in the shadow of Your wings will I rejoice’. Psalm 63:2-4,7. AMP.