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What does the Bible say about kindness?

By Annaliese Raynak
Kindness. Fruits of the Spirit. Christian Healthcare Ministries.

Kindness matters to God. In fact, kindness is listed in Galatians 5:22-23 along with the other fruits of the Spirit. However, showing kindness in our everyday lives can be a bit of a challenge.

After a long day at work, dirty clothes piled up high, and frustrating social media debates, we’re often left feeling depleted. Bible verses about kindness point us back toward lasting truths that refresh our hearts and give us a renewed perspective.

Here are several examples of loving kindness from the Bible:

Treat people with kindness

Kindness is one of the most mentioned spiritual attributes in the Bible. The Hebrew word translated as “kindness” is חֶסֶד (chesed). It’s mentioned over 250 times in the Old Testament, and it’s so important that it’s frequently used as a major attribute of God the Father. In the book of Joel, God is described as being “slow to anger, and great in loving-kindness” [Joel 2:13]. God’s heart towards us is that we would be so full of His kindness and love that we would be kind to those around us.

Bible verses about kindness display this unconditional kindness. In Luke 6:27-28 [NLT], Jesus gives His Sermon on the Mount, saying, “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.”

This is a hard concept to demonstrate even when everything is going well, but it’s especially difficult when we’re hurting. As Jesus has shown us throughout His own life, we’re to display kindness to the people God loves—and that’s everyone. He was hurt, beaten, and rejected by mankind. He felt the sting of broken relationships, yet He still restored those around Him to wholeness.

Likewise, He sympathizes with our pain and understands that showing kindness is hard. He isn’t afraid of our brokenness. He knows that we might be holding onto bitterness, anger, and fear. Yet He knows that acts of kindness changes hearts.

As Christians, we’re called to have a spirit of kindness. Responding with kind words and actions might not always be our first response, but with God’s help, we can shift our mindset. He gives us grace so that Christian kindness can be extended to anyone we meet, including those who make our lives hard.

Choose kindness

In Mark 6:30-34 [ESV], Jesus and His disciples had been working hard to share the Gospel with the people around them. They’d been working so hard they didn’t even have time to eat. So Jesus said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”

However, “many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When [Jesus] went ashore, He saw a great crowd, and He had compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And He began to teach them many things.”

Jesus and the disciples were very tired. They were running on empty after pouring out their lives to others. Yet, when people who needed kindness and compassion showed up, Jesus didn’t turn away. Instead, He acted compassionately and helped them. Obviously, we’re not Jesus, so there are times when we’re at the end of our rope and we simply cannot go on. God understands that.

But there are other times when we just don’t want to help. Choosing kindness isn’t always on our to-do list. We might not have any reason other than the inconvenient disruption it might cause, or the extra effort we’d have to make. In those times, following Jesus’ example meant helping those in need. He will give us the strength to push forward and spread kindness.

Our call to kindness is meant for a greater purpose: showing the kindness of God leads to repentance.

Kindness matters

Kindness in the Bible gives us a new role. Romans 2:4 [NIV] says, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”

Spreading kindness is meant for a greater purpose, and it’s the same reason listed here. Our kindness is to be a beacon to the world around us and to show them Christ. Even when we struggle to be kind, God is faithful to give us grace in our weaknesses and guide us towards continued responses of kindness and compassion.

Prayers Unceasing: choose kindness as a CHM member

In 1 Corinthians 12:26 [ESV], Paul reminds Christians that “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” This is also kindness, sharing each other’s struggles and joys, and it’s one way that CHM members show kindness to each other.

Each month, members send CHM prayer requests. With their permission, we include them on the Prayers Unceasing cards which CHM members receive in their Monthly Contribution Form every month. With this card, you can encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ by lifting them in prayer and sending them cards, letters, or emails of encouragement. It’s the perfect opportunity to put your fruit of kindness to use.

Just like our muscles, when we exercise the fruit of kindness, it starts to become a regular habit. Treating people with kindness and empathy isn’t always easy, but with God’s help, we can be one small part of a Christian kindness revolution.

Grow the Fruit of the Spirit by signing up for our FruitFULL e-book!

Created just for you, this book is full of resources to help you and your family cultivate closeness with God.

Just like you make sure to eat a balanced diet, make sure you learn to grow the “good fruit” of the Holy Spirit. 

Annaliese Raynak
Annaliese is a storyteller whose passion and purpose is to help others connect their stories to the grand narrative God planned for all creation. Weaving a tapestry of words, she aims to highlight the ultimate source of Truth and help individuals discover their God-given value.