God says, “Love is kind” (1 Cor 13). Kindness is:
Showing sympathy concern or understanding (sympathetic understanding).
Thesaurus on Kindness: Grace, favor, service, charity, unselfish concern for others welfare (altruism), compassion, generosity.
Do you enjoy hearing about other people being hurt? Do you laugh at someone else’s misfortune? Do you have compassion for the homeless and people in need, or do you point your nose up at them? When someone tells you about a bad day at work, or something awful or unfortunate, do you jump into giving them a solution or do you simply listen?
Jesus felt the pain of others. He had compassion for them and helped them (Matt 9:36; 14:14). We must do the same. We must care enough for other human beings to try and understand what they feel – not for the sake of feeling their pain – but to do something about it. This is kindness. Kindness is self-less – its about someone else and how we can help them. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. I can tell a person is Spirit-filled by their amount of authentic kindness.
Kindness in Relationships
Even when we can do nothing to help someone in need, we still can sympathize and understand them. Simple sympathy is kindness and it helps a great deal. Men often fail at this in relationships when the woman tells the man about her bad day. The man usually responds with a cold-cut solution. Although, the solution may be helpful it wasn’t what the woman wanted; and so the woman is offended. The unkind man looks at the woman’s problem as something to solve.
The man listens to the woman’s problem once more and says, “so, what do you want me to do about it?” The woman is further offended because the man doesn’t understand kindness. The woman never wanted a solution, she wants her man to “feel her” – to sympathize and understand her situation – that’s all. She may already have a solution. It was never about finding a solution to the problem, it was about her need for sympathy.
Sympathy is humane, it brings comfort to someone who is lonely in a dire situation. The fact that someone else understands where they are makes the situation not so difficult anymore. Sympathy is like emotional support, and so we ask for it when we need it. Its a shame to not only deal with a hurtful situation alone, but when you reach out for help to people who are suppose to care, mistakenly, they throw salt in your wounds by being unkind.
Males are taught to be unkind
Even though the lack of kindness shows itself in both sexes, men are actually taught not to be so kind. Kindness is looked at as weakness; and so they learn to cut off certain emotions that stem from kindness; and become careless, callous and unkind. In fact, the more callous and ruthless, the better (at least, when in the presence of other males). I’ve heard Christian men sit around gawking about how someone got beat and hurt – all the while caring nothing for that individual. What if it was you who was the one that was beaten? Oh, how loveless we are as human beings.
This teaching could have possibly come from soldiers in battle – you can’t show compassion for the enemy or you’d risk being killed. This may apply to war, but not other areas of life. Its not uncommon for a male to have difficulty showing kindness for their children or wives. In most men, the mere thought of “I should show some kindness in this situation” never crosses their mind – leaving their wives and children wounded. Little boys, when treated with unkindness from their own fathers, are told to “bulk-up”, “deal with it”. This develops a callous response to sensitive situations, where the young boys display the same lack of love as their fathers.