Kindness is an extension of our hearts to those around us. As believers, we are called to reflect the character of God. The Bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:7 KJV) and, in defining what love is, we are told that, among other things, “love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4 KJV)
We should aspire to get to a place where it brings us joy to extend kindness to others. Let us look at some Bible verses about kindness and how it can be applied to our lives.
Bible Verses about Kindness
Ephesians 4:32 KJV –“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
In Ephesians 4, the apostle Paul covers a variety of important points about the need for unity and maturity within the body of Christ. Here, in verse thirty-two (32), he reminds the Ephesians to act kindly and forgive each other. For us to grow in Christ and become unified against the enemy’s attacks, we must learn to love, forgive, and be kind to each other.
Proverbs 11:17 KJV –“The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.”
One of the many ways we can show kindness is to extend mercy. We reflect the heart of God to our fellow man when we can look beyond their faults and show kindness. This is exactly what God does for us daily. If we are truly His children, we should seek every opportunity to be merciful to others as God is merciful to us.
Proverbs 31:26 KJV –“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
There are two important lessons in this short passage. The first thing to note is that kindness can be taught. As a matter of fact, it has to be taught. Because of sin, we are inherently selfish creatures. But for the goodness of God, we would roam the Earth not knowing what true kindness is. It is our primary responsibility to teach and inspire our children, friends, and neighbors to be kind.
The second lesson is the connection between kindness and wisdom. Proverbs 9:10 tells us that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” “Fear” here does not mean to be afraid of the Lord. In the King James Version of the Bible, the Hebrew word translated to mean fear, “yir’ah,” means reverence and moral awareness. Therefore to know and reverence God is the beginning of all wisdom. It is only through fearing God that we can extend true kindness.
Galatians 5:22 KJV – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.”
Fruits of the Spirit are cultivated from daily being filled with the Spirit. We cannot obtain fruits unless a seed is first planted, then watered and nurtured to maturity.
The same is true for the fruits of the Spirit. The word of God is planted in our hearts, and the Holy Spirit nurtures it to full maturity. Being kind is a by-product of constantly dwelling in the presence of God. True sympathy comes directly from heaven and flows easily from the heart that lives in an attitude of prayer.
Acts 20:35 KJV – “I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Jesus wants us to develop a heart for service towards those who cannot properly care for themselves. Jesus often spoke about the fatherless, the widowed, the orphaned, the poor, and the needy. In His time, these people were the most disadvantaged in society.
Jesus taught us that it is our responsibility as His followers and heirs to the throne of God to take care of these people, just as Jesus did. We should see it as our responsibility to put food on their tables, clothes on their backs, and shoes on their feet.
Bible verses about Kindness and generosity
Proverbs 22:9 KJV – “He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.”
“Bountiful eye” in this passage refers to those who look for opportunities to be generous. Solomon was a man of great wealth, and he understood that hoarding his wealth and trying to increase his storehouses without giving to those around him in dire need would only lead to ruin.Solomon was one of the wealthiest men in the world; he was also the wisest man in the world. His wealth did not blind him from doing the will of God. Our Earthly possessions are not as important as the people God came to save.
Matthew 5:42 KJV – “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.”
Matthew challenges us in this verse to go beyond our comfort levels to share with others. We may create a place in our monthly budget for acts of kindness, but Matthew challenges us to go even further. Giving to those who ask may require giving in at a time that is not optimal or convenient. It is a call to trust God to provide for our needs as we attend to the needs of others.
Proverbs 19:17 KJV – “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”
If we struggle with kindness, it may help us remember that everything we have belongs to the Lord. We are all stewards of His creations, not creators of them. When we are kind to others, we are kind to God. This is important to remember. In the final judgment, as depicted in Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus, in verse 41, rebukes, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
What was the reason for this? Jesus goes on to explain in verses 42 and 43 that He was hungry, thirsty, naked, and lonely, and no one cared to help Him. When asked when these things happened, He revealed that “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” (verse 45).
1 John 3:17 KJV – “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
It is not possible for us to honestly say that we have the love of God in our hearts, but we are cruel to each other. We cannot see God, but we can see each other.
How can we profess to love a God that we cannot see while doing little to show love to the ones we can see? How can we say we love God while despising His children and allowing them to suffer? If we love God the way He has loved us, we will look after his struggling children. That is one way to show God that we love Him.
Matthew 5:16 KJV – “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Even people who do not know God can identify kindness when they see it. Being kind and compassionate from a place of sincerity is an effective method of witnessing to others about the love of God, His goodness, and His grace.
Bible verses about being Kind and Humble
Luke 6:35 – “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”
It is easy for us to be kind to those who are kind to us. It requires a humble spirit to be willing to obey God when He tells us to love and do good for our enemies. God wants to bless us, and we come into agreement with His will through obedience and humility. When we are kind and good to our enemies or give to those who can never repay us, it shows others the power of God in our hearts.
Philippians 2:3,4 KJV – “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
We live in an “every man for himself” type of culture. We are told by the world to look out for ourselves and to always put ourselves first. God calls us to go against the grain and to put the needs of others before ours. This requires humility, patience, and perseverance. As physical embodiments of the Church, it is up to us to show the world that the love of Christ is not dead and that the key to happiness is to walk humbly, show mercy, and aspire to godliness.
Galatians 6:2 KJV – “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
If we are busy bearing each other’s burdens, we will have no time to cast judgment on them. Empathy and kindness require us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. This is how we can fulfill the law of Christ by loving each other, being kind to each other, and being humble enough to shoulder the burdens of the brethren. If we can show godly affection, be patient and forgiving towards each other, then we, by our actions, declare the faithfulness of God.
1 Peter 3:8, 9 KJV – “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.”
Kindness and forgiveness are tied together. There is a special blessing tied to being compassionate towards others. Almost everywhere that kindness is mentioned in the Bible, we are later told that we will be blessed for it. This is because we are never just rewarded for doing good, but we are also rewarded for humility. Just as Jesus chose humility to open the door for our salvation, so too should we choose to be humble every day.
Colossians 3:12 KJV – “Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.”
As God’s chosen people, being compassionate, kind, humble, and merciful is not just an option for us; it is a command. It is something that we “put on” to protect us from the sinful alternatives in the world. When we dress ourselves in the character of Christ, we are better equipped to withstand the enemy’s attacks. Kindness is not just a gift to those who receive it; it is a blessing to those who give it as well.
Stories about Kindness in the Bible
1. The Story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25- 37 KJV)
The good Samaritan story highlights the important point that kindness and compassion should never be withheld because of race. The story is also one of incredible forgiveness and humility. Samaritans were a widely hated group of people and had become enemies of the Jews. However, when faced with the choice of doing good and being nice or exacting vengeance and acting in anger, the Samaritan chose to show kindness to the injured Jew. The story deliberately included a priest and a Levite because these were expected to be morally upright people. However, when the moment called for it, they failed to reflect kindness and love.
Being kind to others should not be dependent on how they are to us. This can be a difficult pill to swallow. Luke 6:33-35 poses some hard-hitting questions around this approach to kindness. In the end, we are reminded that there is a greater reward for loving beyond relationships. If we can show love and kindness to those who have wronged us, then we exhibit the character of Christ and will be rewarded for letting our lights shine.
2. The story of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:6-20 KJV)
This story highlights the real-time rewards and blessings associated with giving. The widow was poor with very little in her house to eat. She was unable to fend for herself or her son, but when the prophet of God showed up at her house and asked for something to eat, she chose to give the last that she had and trust God to do the rest. God came through for her and provided for her in a supernatural way. He wants us to open our hearts to receive His supernatural blessings as well.
The kingdom of God confounds the wise. To be the greatest is to become the least, and the way to receive is to give. Kindness unlocks a special blessing that God has in store for us. When we are blessed with Earthly possessions, we are not expected to become arrogant or rude to others as a result. Instead, we are expected to let the blessings we received flow through us like a river and not hoard them like a reservoir.
3. The story of the Pharoah’s daughter ( Exodus 2: 5-10 KJV)
Moses was born in a time when Egypt was ruled by an insecure Pharoah. He saw the growing number of the Hebrew Israelites as a constant threat and decided to do something about it. His solution was to kill all the male children. His daughter, however, had a more compassionate heart. Her compassion led her to fish this Hebrew baby out of the river and raise him as her own. She chose to be obedient to the tugging of God on her heart and, without even realizing it, started an important chain of events that would culminate in the Israelites’ freedom. Because she chose to save Moses and go against her father’s demand, God was able to use Moses as one of His most noteworthy. Due to his obedience, Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt and delivered them from oppression before reintroducing them to the knowledge and reverence of Almighty God.
The entire New Testament is filled with examples and stories of Jesus’ kindness and generosity. He is the perfect example to us of being kind, humble, and compassionate. Jesus’ heart was constantly moved at the pain and suffering around Him. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, gave sight to the blind, freed strangers from emotional distress, and comforted those who were grieving. At every turn, Jesus’ life shows us what it means to consider others ahead of ourselves.
We cannot show generosity or kindness without having genuine love in our hearts. It was love that compelled Jesus to give up His position in heaven and come to Earth to live among us. It was love that made His sacrifice possible. If we find ourselves in a position where showing love requires sacrifice, we should think about Jesus. Sometimes, being kind will require us to give the last of what we have or allow someone to do something we have always wanted to do instead of us. Whatever the sacrifice is, we will be blessed if we do it out of love.
Kindness never happens in isolation. Where there is kindness, there is mercy, humility, generosity, and grace. God wants us to be involved in the transformative work He is doing here on Earth. We partner with God to redeem souls when we choose every day to be kind.