Last night at our midweek group we continued in our study of ‘love’ from 1 Corinthians 13 – this week we looked into ‘Kindness’. Whilst preparing for the night I read again about the kindness of King David. Many things stuck out to me in my little study of the word – much of it taking me back to God’s own ‘Hesed’, his loving-kindness which runs like a thread throughout the Bible. But what struck me the most was David’s own attitude to be kind to people and his motivation behind it…
I saw last night that the covenant made between David and Jonathan was based on words and acts of kindness.
David to Jonathan: “…show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into covenant with you before the Lord…” 1 Sam 20:8
Jonathan to David: “…show me unfailing kindness like that of the Lord as long as I live…and do not cut off your kindness from my family…” 1 Sam 20:14-15
Kindness forms strong bonds between people. It forms memories and builds trust. That’s how we should live with one another – rooted in kindness, showing kindness, looking for ways to express kindness to one another. But it goes further than the two people involved in a single act of Kindness. Their covenant based on kindness would prove itself to be stronger than death.
2 Sam 9:1 “David asked, ‘Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
Then we read about the wonderful restoration of Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth from nothing, a crippled existence, to dining at the King’s own table!
One last thought on David’s motivation for kindness. 2 Samuel 10:2 “I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.”
Allow me a little license. “I will show kindness to my brother/sister in Christ, just as their heavenly Father showed kindness to me.”
God has been so kind to us. Wonderfully kind. Ephesians 2:6-7 tells us that God’s kindness to us was expressed in Jesus Christ himself. Because we have received kindness from Jesus, how much more should we give it away. Galatians 6 encourages us to “do good to all” and “especially to the household of believers“.
We shouldn’t need any other motivation, prophetic direction or word of knowledge to show kindness to any member of my church family – but our motivation should be that of King David’s – I will show kindness to them as their Father showed kindness to me.
So the challenge to us all is to let kindness, just one part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, come to the forefront of our lives and be worked out everyday. Ask yourself, as David asked: Is there anyone of the household of God that I can show kindness to?