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Kindness is everywhere. Even though we are surrounded by negativity, hurtfulness and disrespect, if you look close enough, humankind has a tendency to be kind. But why? Why should we be kind? What are the benefits of kindness and how do we show that kindness to others?
Have you ever looked up the actual definition of kindness? Unfortunately, all I could find ran along the lines of “the act of being kind.” It wasn’t until I looked into synonyms of the word that the beauty behind the act of kindness showed up. Synonyms include humanity, generosity, charity, sympathy, compassion and tenderness. Basically, kindness is showing love.
The importance of kindness
The Bible has many scriptures that remind us that it’s our job to love and be kind. Love everyone! God commands it! When Jesus gave us His guidelines, He laid out the whole gospel in two commandments. We find these verses in Matthew 22:37-40 KJV “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Those are our instructions! Who wants to argue with Jesus? I certainly don’t! There are many more Bible verses about the importance of kindness, but I’ll share just a few.
The kindness of the Virtuous Woman
I don’t know any Christian woman who doesn’t look up to the Virtuous Woman. What does God say about her? Proverbs 31:26 KJV “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” What is the law of kindness? I believe she’s speaking from a heart of love. She edifies, and helps and everything she does comes from a heart of Godly love, which is the love we spoke about earlier.
Additionally, we need to come from the Godly love spoken of in Ephesians 4:31-32 KJV which tells us to “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” We need to behave in this manner always. Now we know why we need to be kind. So let’s consider the benefits of kindness toward others.
The Benefits of Kindness
Kindness is an opportunity to help others
When you see someone in need, it’s important to reach out and help them. Whether it’s holding the door for them, letting them cut in front of you at the store or making them a meal, it’s all about showing love to others. For a really great list of ideas, here are 105 of the Best Random Acts of Kindness. But truly, do you really need to see someone in need to help them? Why not make it a point to show kindness everywhere you go. Before long, it will become a natural way of life for you.
Showing kindness makes you feel good
Do you know that feeling that you get when you’ve blessed someone’s life? That’s such a beautiful feeling and it warms your heart. Doing something nice for another person truly makes us feel happy. It boosts your mood and it prompts you to show more kindness. It’s a wonderful circle that never ends. Try it sometime (better yet, every day) and test my theory.
The opposite of kindness is hurtfulness & there’s too much of that in the world. Mahatma Ghandi said “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” I agree! So let’s start by showing the importance of kindness to others as well as ourselves.
Kindness is contagious, pass it on
We’ve all heard the stories and maybe even participated in chain reactions of kindness. I’ll pay for your coffee and you pay for the coffee of the guy behind you. Why is that popular? Because kindness is contagious, so pass it on! I’m sure you heard someone say, “Thank you so much. I don’t know how I can ever repay you.” Well a great reply would be to pass the kindness on and pay it forward. In fact the term, pay it forward, is a true testament to the fact that acts of kindness are contagious.
Many great benefits of kindness are that they set great examples for your kids
Which would you rather have your kids model? You, passing up a homeless person on the street on a cold day or going out of your way to buy that person a cup of hot coffee and give them a few dollars? It’s no secret that our kids learn more from our actions than they learn from our words. So let’s teach them well. Teach them to say please and thank you and to hold the door open for others. Show them how you help someone who is down on their luck. Let them help you bake cookies or prepare a meal for someone who is sick. And take them with you when you visit that sick person in the hospital. Let’s create the next generation of kinder, gentler, loving adults.
Be kind with your words too!
There is more to kindness than just action. It is so important that you’re kind with the things you say as well. Truly, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Unfortunately, it seems as though we live in a world where it’s more important to be right, than kind. I disagree times 100. Nowadays, people go out of their way to shout hateful things at others because they disagree with the other person’s point of view. Instead, politely tell them you disagree and leave it at that.
It doesn’t do anybody any good if you ram your opinion down my throat, even if it’s something you’re passionate about. How much kinder and more effective it would be, if you kindly stated your point, and let me come to my own conclusion. As a Christian, I have a Godly set of beliefs that you won’t change. But trying to hurt my feelings because you don’t believe the same way I do, doesn’t do anybody any good. On the other hand, if you don’t want to hear about the importance of your eternal destiny, that’s your prerogative and I have to respect that.
One act of kindness can change someone’s day
How great would it be if, when you’re having a down day, that a friend picked up the phone and called just to say hello? I know how great of an impact one simple gesture of kindness can be. As you know, without my hands, I am unable to cook anymore. My husband has to cook when he gets home from work. Which sometimes can be as late as 7 or 8 at night.
A couple of weeks ago, a good friend called to see if I wanted some soup for dinner. I told her I didn’t want her to go out of her way because she lives a half-hour away. Several hours later, she called again. She was in my driveway and had that soup with her. What a blessing that was! As it turns out, my hubby had to work late. He was overjoyed that dinner was ready for him when we got home. It was such a simple gesture, but we were so very thankful for her generosity. And the soup was awesome too!
Don’t rob others of their blessings
I think it’s important to mention that you should never turn down a kindness that someone offers you, regardless of its value. When you say no, thank you, you are robbing that person of a blessing. Don’t do that! We learned this important reminder when I first came home from the hospital.
We had a women’s community service group bring us meals for several months as we were learning to adapt to our new life as an amputee family. My husband made the mistake of telling them that we no longer needed their help. Very kindly he was reminded that we were robbing these women of their blessings by rejecting their acts of kindness. We haven’t done that since. In fact, we have received many blessings over the years and I know that the givers have received so many blessings as well. If you’d like to read all about them, check out The Kindness of Others: Restoring Faith in Humanity.
Additional benefits of kindness are that they are good for your physical and mental health
Some of the great benefits of kindness include health rewards. When you are kind to others, you relieve stress. When you are kind, you release your feel-good hormones which create that deep down joy. I personally feel like I’m doing the work of my Lord when I’m acting kind. This, incidentally, should be a way of life, not simple individual actions. When you have inner joy and peace, you also have less stress. As we know, stress is responsible for a multitude of health problems, including heart issues and cancer, just to name a few. So perform as least one random act of kindness daily and stay healthy.
Great benefits of kindness: You make friends!
When you do something kind for someone, it’s an opportunity to strike up a conversation with them. Conversations reveal things in common. You may even find a best friend out of the deal. This thought takes me back many years ago when my kids were small. My youngest son was always super friendly and outgoing. It wasn’t unusual for him to introduce himself to another child in the playground with his famous line. “Hi, my name is Matt. Do you want to be my friend?”
At that point, Matt would offer a toy and the kids would play. All it took was a simple act of kindness from a 5 year-old to create a new friendship. So now, fast forward to today. Hi! My name is Wendy! Thank you for sharing my blog with me. Will you be my friend? Your simple act of reading this post is a great act of kindness toward me. You have made my day and I appreciate it.
There you have it, 9 benefits of kindness. When you approach kindness as a way of life, you will lead a happier, more joy-filled life. You will also be following the laws of kindness set forth by our Lord, Jesus Christ to love everybody as yourself. Just remember, Galatians 6:10 KJV “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
Remember the benefits of kindness!
Remember that your actions speak louder than your words. It’s not enough to say kind things, but to show your kindness as well. How do you know what people need? Make sure to pay attention to the needs of others. Little gestures go a long way. Make sure to reinforce the importance of kindness in your life, as well as the lives of your family.
Colossians 3:12-15 KJV
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”