"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." This famous quote by Plato reflects a simple yet profound truth. We don't know the struggles people may be facing in their lives. As humans, we're all vulnerable to feelings of hopelessness, loneliness, disappointment, fear, anxiety, and more. Kindness can bring a moment of relief, even joy to those facing a difficult life situation.

You might think that Christians have an advantage when it comes to being kind. After all, Jesus taught us to "Love our neighbor as ourselves" (Mark 12:31), which can translate into being kind and considerate towards others. However, there are times when Christians don't live up to this teaching in practice. Why does this happen? Below are several reasons that might explain this paradox.

The Importance of Personal Spiritual Growth

  1. Lack of personal spiritual growth: It is easy to focus on the 'external' aspects of faith—attending church services, giving money, participating in church-organized activities—but fail to spend time nurturing our inner selves. Jesus Himself said, "Blessed are the pure in heart" (Matthew 5:8). True inner purity comes from a sincere desire to know God better, learn from His teachings, and apply them in our daily lives. Without this foundational spiritual growth, we will struggle to embody Christian kindness in our interactions with others.

  2. Misplaced priorities: Busyness with worldly ambitions might lead some Christians to place lesser importance on virtues like kindness. It may take a back seat to pursuing a high-paid career, accumulating wealth, or climbing up the corporate ladder. However, Jesus warned His followers not to store up treasures on earth but to seek the Kingdom of God "first" (Matthew 6:33). When we make God our top priority, the importance of kindness will naturally come into focus.

  3. Misconception about God's grace: Grace is God's unmerited favor and forgiveness freely given to humankind through Jesus Christ's death on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-9). Some Christians may wrongly interpret grace as a license to live however they want without the need for repentance or personal growth—even at the expense of being kind toward others. In truth, genuine conversion leads to a heart that seeks to honor God in all aspects of life, including kindness.

  4. Negative influences in the Church: Unfortunately, there are times when people who call themselves Christians may demonstrate unkind behavior, speak harshly against others, form cliques excluding others, gossip, and exhibit other unloving ways. Such negative influences can create a toxic environment within the church community and hinder the growth of genuine Christian kindness. This calls for Christians to be discerning in choosing a Christ-centered church that reflects Biblical values and actively cultivates a loving atmosphere.

  5. Ignorance of the Scriptures: Some Christians might be unaware of the true teaching of kindness found in the Bible and its implications for their daily lives. This lack of understanding may stem from poor exposition in Bible study groups or inconsistent personal Bible study. It is important for Christians to be regularly immersed in Scripture reading, so that they can glean more insight about living out the life of Christ in practical terms such as kindness and love to others.

In conclusion, when Christians appear to be bad at being kind, there may be underlying issues with their spiritual growth, misplaced priorities, a flawed understanding of grace, negative influences within the church community, or a lack of clear Bible teaching about Christian kindness. It is essential for Christians to constantly examine themselves and seek to grow spiritually, strengthen their relationship with God, and live out their faith through acts of kindness towards others. By doing so, they reflect Christ's love and embody the true essence of Christianity.

Questions & Answers

Q: Can attending church meetings alone make us kind towards others?

A: While attending church meetings can provide opportunities for fellowship and spiritual enrichment, it is not the sole factor in developing kindness. To be kind, one must sincerely strive for inner spiritual growth through studying God’s word, prayer, and reflecting the love of Christ in daily lives both inside and outside the church community.

Q: Is kindness a primary requirement for someone to be considered Christian?

A: Although kindness is an important Christian virtue, being kind does not automatically make someone a Christian. Becoming a Christian involves having faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, recognizing the need for God’s grace and repentance for sin, and following His teachings. Kindness becomes evident in a Christian’s life as they grow in their faith walk and consistently seek to live according to Biblical principles.

Q: How can one cultivategenuine Christian kindness?

A: Cultivating genuine Christian kindness involves several steps: 1) Regularly spend time with God through Bible study and prayer, allowing God to shape our character and values. 2) Strive for spiritual growth by asking tough questions about faith, attending Bible study groups or personal mentorship programs. 3) Seek a church community that embodies Christian love and unity. 4) Reflect on personal attitudes towards others and strive to correct any hurtful patterns of behavior. 5) Pray regularly for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in extending kindness to people we encounter each day.


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