Today, I would like to explore the second aspect of love in 1 Corinthians 13 i.e. the kindness of love.
1 Corinthians 13:4
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
I was searching for the meaning of the word 'kind' in the bible and here is how it is defined in the enhanced Strong dictionary:
g5541. chrsteuomai; middle voice from 5543 ; to show oneself useful, i.e. act benevolently: be kind.
Huh? To show oneself useful? Act benevolent? To be kind to someone in the bible means to be useful? To be characterised or suggestive of doing good? Organized for the purpose of doing good? That's kinda deep.
As usual, I will look for the first occurrence in the New Testament of the root of this word:
"Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.
Wait a minute! This does not limit to being kind to a family member; or a friend; or a loved one; or a stranger! This is talking about being kind to an enemy! And another bummer is 'without expecting to be repaid'! It requires us to be kind in a useful way. It means that even if your enemy is hungry, feed him - not just pray for him. If he is injured, to heal him - not just avoid injuring him further. Be of useful help.
But the bible does not say that we would not be repaid. It only says that our kindness should not be given with expectation of repayment from our enemies. It says there is a possibility the person to whom we extend kindness may not repay us. It means don't expect them to pay you back with the kindness you lavished upon them because that repayment is going to come from God. God is the One who would repay you when you display His kindness because then you would truly be acting as children of God - the God who would be kind to even those who are not even going to give Him an ounce of thanks or even those who act wickedly.
But"When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.
For me, the question today would be whether I would want kindness according to the world's standard or God's standard. The world would say be kind to those who are kind to us. Be kind to the grateful. Be kind to the good. That is the world's standard. But God's standard demands a different level of action - it demands us to be kind to even our enemies who in our very eyes, may not have done a single act of righteousness but extend to them mercy. Be merciful for He is merciful.
Yes, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. This man is willing but he will have to fight against every ounce of resistance in his mind and emotions. But it would be worth it as God is His rewarder. He would repay and we would be sons of light. sons of the true and living God.
I am just a regular guy who really desires to please God. I'm not there yet, but I'm on the way.
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