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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

When Kindness Appeared

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.
Titus 3:4-5

“You’re so nice.”

“That was such a nice thing to do.”

“Be nice to your little brother.”

Does hearing those phrases leave you feeling ho-hum? That’s how I feel when others use the word “nice” to describe me. Even when offered as genuine encouragement, the word falls flat and feels lukewarm. Nice is what I am when I haven’t allowed others to see my soul. I tend to hide behind “niceness.” But girls are supposed to be nice, right?

I’m nice out of fear. I’m nice when I want to avoid confrontation. I’m nice to please others. I’m nice so that my critical heart isn’t exposed. Niceness is an adjective. Kindness is a verb. Kindness gives without thought of self. Kindness serves others.

As a Christ follower I want to be kind instead of just being nice. Anyone can be nice, but kindness is part of the fruit (Galatians 5:22) of a new identity in Christ. It’s who I am when I don’t bow to fear, but instead dare to offer my life to serve those in need.

Kindness is active and speaks and shares with strength and conviction for the wellbeing of another.

… love is kind… (1 Corinthians 13:4).

In consulting an online Bible dictionary, kindness brought up numerous verses; nice showed ‘No Results.’ Isn’t that interesting?

Kindness is interchangeable with the word, mercy. Kindness in Titus 3:4 means usefulness in character and gentleness or goodness. Do you desire to be kind like I do?

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness [mercy in NIV], and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8 ESV).

Lord, your kindness makes all the difference in my life. May I love kindness and be merciful to others.

Karen Sims

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