If you are a Christian, the kindness of Jesus needs to be an essential aspect of your life; it needs to be easy to see.
We have to make sure that we’re not accidentally making it harder for someone to experience Jesus because of how we act, talk, or respond.
The question is how? How do we show kindness in a world so divided? How do we show kindness when everything around us is telling us we shouldn’t, and that focusing on yourself will bring true joy and happiness? What can a Jesus-level of kindness look like in our lives?
It starts with hospitality
Hospitality can mean simply being friendly, welcoming, accommodating, generous, or considerate.
In Luke 14:12-13 Jesus said, “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet, don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind…God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”
When Jesus practiced hospitality, it turned heads, and it caused gossip to roll through the streets. Soon after Jesus said that in chapter 14, he would be rebuked by the religious leaders of his day.
Luke 15:1-2 says “Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!”
Jesus was judged by who he ate with, who he showed hospitality to, and who he welcomed and loved.
He welcomed arrogant religious-political leaders who he knew were looking for ways to kill him.
He welcomed tax collectors who were corrupt and abusive traitors who stole money.
He welcomed prostitutes, not recovered, former, or previously known as prostitutes, but active ones, prostitutes who more than likely left work to come to have dinner with him.
He knowingly invited Judas, who he knew was stealing from him and would eventually betray him to be murdered.
He welcomed Peter who was a hot-headed angry man who threatened to call fire down upon his enemies and was quick to pull a sword and would abandon him.
He welcomed women, who culturally were considered 2nd tier humans, equal to slaves or livestock and he not only welcomed them, but elevated them, taught them, trusted them, and empowered them.
Jesus didn’t only show kindness to the put-together, the convenient, and the easy, he noticed whoever happened to be in front of him, regardless of their lifestyle, beliefs, behaviors, or social status, and lovingly welcomed them in.
What does that mean for us?
We live in a world where being friendly or hospitable is one of the easiest and fastest ways to show Jesus.
Some practical, easy things we can do are:
- Ask the cashier how they’re doing
- Look the barista in the eye and say thank you
- Be kind to the people in the gym
- Tip well
- Invite someone to sit at your table or come to your house
- Invite someone to watch the game with you
- Have the neighborhood kids over for a play date
- The list could go on and on.
The list could go on and on.
What it really comes down to is this:
Don’t just be kind to those who can be kind back or who you want to be kind back to. Show hospitality to any and everyone you come in contact with.
Many of us have believed the lie that if someone looks, votes, thinks, lives, or behaves differently than us, then they’re dangerous. They should be avoided, or at best, be held skeptically with boundaries, cautiously at a distance.
That’s precisely the opposite of how Jesus behaves toward us and tells us to behave toward others.
We can’t forget, Romans 5:8 says, “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
What can you intentionally use in your life to show the true level of kindness that Jesus showed?
Maybe it’s tools, finances, baking, listening, letters, or sports? Maybe it’s being intentional with co-workers’ birthdays, taking cookies to neighbors, shoveling the whole block, and not just your sidewalk, or saving a seat for someone at lunch.
Where can you intentionally create moments of hospitality and kindness so someone can find it easy to see Jesus in you?
If you're interested in more content similar to this check out:
- Is There a Limit to Forgiveness?
- What Does it Mean to Be a Christian?
- How Can We Show Compassion Like Jesus Did?