Kindness, A Word Study

By: Rev. Joseph R. Kramer

Today we are looking at the biblical concept of kindness. The Bible is written, primarily, in Hebrew and Greek. So, to get a deeper understanding of the concept, we must spend some time in these languages.

Old Testament Usage:

There are many words that we translate using the word kindness, but the one used most often carries the thought of loving kindness; acts that are done out of love which is shown in our loyalty to God and others. Kindness carries with it faithfulness. This means being faithful in our families, work and spiritual lives; doing what we say we are going to do and doing what is right.

New Testament Usage:

There are a few Greek words that translate into kindness. Most of them carry with them the idea of God’s relationship to those that are saved (i.e. turned away from their sinful life and belong to God by faith). These verses focus on the fact that while we were sinners Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6-8; Ephesians 2:6-9; John 3:16-17, etc.).

These words also focus on how we should treat each other in light of the kindness that God has shown us (Ephesians 4:29-32; 1 John 4:20-21). If we say that we are saved, but are not kind to one another then we are not showing Christ’s nature to others. If we are truly saved, then the act of kindness comes out of us naturally to others (Romans 5:5). This doesn’t mean that we don’t struggle with the sin nature that is in us, there will be times when we aren’t kind. In those times we should repent and ask God to help us to show kindness.

This has been just a short study. There is so much more about kindness coming from the Love of God that we could look at today. Alas, we just don’t have the room for it here.