Here’s what I’d like to urge you to do today… Think of the kindest person you know and the kindest act (or acts) you have personally experienced from that person… Who was that person and what was their act of kindness? My wife, Sharon and I spent some time today doing just that… We discovered that some of the kindest people we know are not the most visible – but they are wonderful examples of authentic, loving Christians.
You know, don’t you, that kindness is really an unexpected, undeserved act of goodness, generosity, and caring.
The passage of Scripture I read today during my time of “coffee with the Lord” was really a wonderful testimony to “kindness!” It is part of the wonderful story found in the first two chapters of Ruth in your Bible
First, KINDNESS WAS SHOWN. Ruth, daughter-in-law of Naomi (who had tragically lost her husband and two sons) was kind to her mother-in-law! When her mother-in-law decided she would return from Moab to Israel she assured her, “Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge! Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you!” (Ruth 1:16-17) Bereft of husband and security, and really facing destitution, Ruth shows kindness to her mother-in-law by promising companionship and care for her!
Then, of course, another truth about authentic kindness – A REPUTATION FOR KINDNESS GETS AROUND! When Ruth helps out with provision for the two of them – Ruth and Naomi – by offering to “glean” grain for their food in the fields of their neighbors, Ruth happens upon the field of Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s deceased husband. He discovers who she is and tells her, “All you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and yow you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. The Lord repay you for what you have done – a full reward be given you by the Lord the God of Israel under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” (Ruth 2:11-12)
And finally, THE KINDNESS RUTH SHOWED HER MOTHER-IN-LAW WAS RECIPROCATED! “At mealtime Boaz said to Ruth, ‘Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.’ So she sat beside the reapers, and Boaz passed to her roasted grain. And she at until she was satisfied, and had some left over. When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, ‘let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. Also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.’ So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned… When her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned she also brought out the food she had left over after being satisfied! And her mother-in-law said to her, ‘Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!’” (from Ruth 2:14-20)
And believe me, that is not the end of this wonderful story! Read it for yourself – chapters 3-4 of Ruth in your Bible! KINDNESS PAYS! KINDNESS PLEASES GOD!
So as a Christian, Ruth’s kindness reminds me of my responsibility: “BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Which bring us to the greatest example of kindness of all! “But WHEN THE GOODNESS AND LOVING KINDNESS OF GOD OUR SAVIOR APPEARED, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior!” (Titus 3:4–6)