WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 18, 2020
TOPIC: IT PAYS TO BE KIND TO OTHERS
BY T. O. BANSO
“And be kind to one another” (Ephesians 4:32a New King James Version).
Kindness is one of the character traits (fruit of the Spirit) that must be present in a believer’s life (Galatians 5:22). 1 Corinthians 13:4 says love is kind. You can be kind to people by the way you talk to them, what you do for them or how you relate with them.
Ephesians 4:32a says, “And be kind to one another” (New King James Version). It is important to be kind, not only because of the beneficiaries but because of yourself. The greater beneficiary of being kind is not the receiver but the giver.
When you’re kind to people, you’re sowing a seed and you’ll surely reap it. Your harvest may not come from the person you’ve shown kindness, and it may, but certainly, it’s not a waste.
As I prepared to write this message, I was interested in knowing what the secular world, particularly in the business world, thinks about being kind to others. I discovered that studies have shown that being kind has a positive impact.
An article published in the Harvard Business Review says, “A large healthcare study showed that a kind culture at work not only improved employee well-being and productivity but also improved client health outcomes and satisfaction” (https://hbr.org/2014/11/the-hard-data-on-being-a-nice-boss).
The same publication says, “‘Tough’ managers often mistakenly think that putting pressure on employees will increase performance. What it does increase is stress- and research has shown that high levels of stress carry a number of costs to employers and employees alike.”
The article refers to Adam Grant’s data, which showed that nice guys (and gals!) can actually finish first and not last as it is often said as long as they use the right strategies that prevent others from taking advantage of them.
It is good to know all that, but the truths in the Bible can stand on their own without the support of any other authority.
Let us look at some examples of kindness in the Bible so that we can emulate this godly attribute that the secular world has begun to appreciate, which is contrary to the approach of aggressiveness, harshness, viciousness often adopted in the competitive struggles to gain the upper hand in life.
You achieve better and lasting results by being kind to others. A reputation of being kind is a huge capital for anyone. Cultivate a lifestyle of being generally kind to people.
1.The Egyptian midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, were kind to the pregnant Hebrew women. This was contrary to the directive of Pharaoh, that male children given birth to by pregnant Hebrew women should be killed and the female kept alive. These midwives refused to obey the king’s order. They feared God. They knew their job was to save life not to take life (Exodus 1:17-19).
Consequently, God rewarded the midwives. “Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them” (verses 20-21 New King James Version).
2. Moses was kind to the daughters of Jethro. He didn’t allow the shepherds to intimidate and prevent them from fetching water at the well. Moses hated cheating; he stood up to defend them. He drew enough water for them and watered their flock.
The reward he got was accommodation, employment, and a wife, who bore him a son! (Exodus 2:16-22). Jethro employed him as a shepherd, from where God eventually called him and sent him back to Egypt to deliver his people from their 430 years of captivity.
3. Abraham was kind to three angels. He warmly welcomed the angels and prepared food for them to eat and they ate. He showed them hospitality. The Bible enjoins us to do the same. Hebrews 13:2 says, “Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” (New Living Translation).
The reward Abraham got in less than a year was the fulfillment of a long-standing promise. Sarah, his wife, conceived and gave birth to Isaac (Genesis 18:9-15, 21:1-7).
4. Rebekah was kind to Abraham’s oldest servant, who was in search of a wife for Isaac, his master’s son. Rebekah drew water for him to drink and also gave his animals to drink in line with the sign for confirmation that Abraham’s servant had asked for (Genesis 24:17-21).
Rebekah’s reward was that she became the wife that Abraham’s servant was searching for. She got married to Isaac (verses 22-66). If she had not been kind, we would not have known her name today because her life might have had nothing to do with the Bible. Being kind brought her into biblical relevance.
5. Abigail was kind to David. Abigail was the exact opposite of her husband, Nabal, who repaid with evil David’s kindness to him and his men. He insulted David (1 Samuel 25:4-12).
But when Nabal’s young men told Abigail what her husband had done, she moved swiftly to discourage David from a possible violent attack. She quickly went to David with generous food supplies (verses 14-19).
She pleaded with David to sheathe his sword. Abigail’s kindness to David in his hour of need prevented him from shedding innocent blood. Ten days after Abigail got back home, the ungrateful Nabal that David would have killed in retaliation, died. David rewarded Abigail’s kindness by marrying her (verses 39-43).
6. David showed kindness to Saul and Jonathan’s son, and the Egyptian servant, abandoned by his Amalekite master after an attack on David’s camp.
Two times David had the opportunity of killing Saul but he refrained from doing so. He was kind to him because he was the LORD’s anointed (1Samuel 24, 26).
After he had become the king of the entire nation of Israel, he was kind to Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan. He recalled him from Lo-Debar and treated him kindly (2 Samuel 9:3-13).
In verse 7, David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually” (New King James Version).
David also ordered Saul’s servant, Ziba, and his fifteen sons and twenty servants, to work the land for Mephibosheth. He ordered them to bring in the harvest so that Mephibosheth would have food to eat, even though he would be eating bread at David’s table always (verse 10).
Before David became a king, he was kind to an Egyptian servant, who had not eaten for three days and three nights. He was brought to David while David was in pursuit of the Amalekites, who had invaded his camp at Ziklag, burnt it, taken the women captive, and carried everyone away.
This Egyptian was, however, abandoned on the way because he had fallen sick. David didn’t kill him. Rather, he gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins (1 Samuel 30:12).
What benefit did David derive from this kindness? It was this Egyptian who took David and his men to the Amalekite troop that attacked David’s camp on the condition that David would neither kill them nor deliver him into the hands of his master. They pursued them and recovered all (verses 16-20). It pays to be kind.
7. Shobi, Machir and Barzillai, were kind to David. While David was fleeing from Absalom after his revolt, they took care of David and his men by giving them food supplies and other essential things (2 Samuel 17:27-29).
The Bible says they brought beds and basins, earthen vessels and wheat, barley and flour, parched grain and beans, lentils and parched seeds, honey and curds, and sheep and cheese of the herd, for David and the people who were with him to eat.
While David was returning to his throne after Absalom’s rebellion had been put down, David requested that Barzillai follow him to Jerusalem so that he could show his appreciation to him, but he refused because of his old age. Nevertheless, he handed over Chimham to David to do for him whatever was in his mind (2 Samuel 19:33-44).
However, before David died, he specifically told Solomon to be kind to Barzillai’s children (1 Kings 2:7). It pays to be kind.
8. The Bahurim woman was kind to David’s men, Jonathan and Ahimaz, who were to pass information to David regarding Absalom’s revolt. When one of Absalom’s people, a lad, reported that he had seen them at En Rogel where they were waiting secretly to carry a message from Hushai to David, they quickly ran to Bahurim where this woman showed them kindness.
She hid them in a well from Absalom’s men; she spread a covering over the well’s mouth and spread ground grain on it (2 Samuel 17:17-20).
This action of the woman helped these two men of David to escape to deliver a vital message to him, which allowed him and his supporters to beat Absalom’s plan. All of them had to cross over the Jordan before morning (verses 21-22).
9. Rahab was kind to the two spies that Joshua sent to Jericho. She hid the spies on the roof of her house and prevented them from being arrested by the king’s men and killed thereafter. Rahab preserved their lives and bargained with them to spare her and her family whenever they would come to invade Jericho (Joshua 2).
Truly, the Israelites fulfilled their part of the agreement, and Rahab and her household were not destroyed along with the entire city of Jericho (Joshua 6:17, 23-25). Hebrews 11:31 refers to her kindness. She eventually became part of the earthly lineage of our Lord Jesus.
10. The Shunnamite woman was kind to the prophet Elisha. This woman took care of God’s servant by ministering to his needs anytime he visited her city. She accommodated him and made him comfortable (2 Kings 4:8-10).
The kindness of this wealthy woman was not in vain because through Elisha, she got the miracle of a child (verses 11-17). Later, when the child died, Elisha restored him back to life (verses 18-37).
In addition, the woman got the privileged information from the prophet about the impending seven-year famine and instruction to leave the city. When she returned after the famine, the king restored to her everything she had lost, including the value of crops that had been harvested during her absence (2 Kings 8:1-6). It pays to be kind.
11. Ebed-melech the Cushite was kind to Jeremiah. This man saved Jeremiah’s life from death in the muddy cisterns his enemies had put him (Jeremiah 38:7-13). God also rewarded his kind action just as he had rewarded Rahab’s kindness for hiding the spies.
Ebed-melech was exempted from the evil that befell Jerusalem (Jeremiah 39:15-18). God rewarded his kindness for not allowing His servant to die in the cisterns.
12. Tabitha (Dorcas) was kind to others and the poor, including widows. This woman was “always doing kind things for others and helping the poor” (Acts 9:36 New Living Translation). She was generous. She provided for others from what she had.
Tabitha got the reward of being kind when she died. All the beneficiaries of her kindness insisted it wasn’t yet time for her to die! Her friends sent for Apostle Peter, who was at Lydda. The Lord answered Peter’s prayer and brought this woman back to life.
Although they had prepared her body for burial, the beneficiaries believed that a miracle could still happen. They would only bury her if she didn’t come back to life after Peter had prayed. Praise God! She was restored to life (Acts 9:36-42).
13. Publius was kind to Paul and his companions when they arrived Malta on their way to Rome. Publius was not an ordinary person. He was the chief official of the island. Yet, he wasn’t arrogant or snobbish. He was kind to Paul and his companions. He welcomed them courteously and fed them for three days. He showed them hospitality.
His kindness was not in vain. He had a father who was afflicted with fever and dysentery. God used Paul to heal his father and other sick people on the island (Acts 28:7-10).
There are other examples in the Bible, including the Good Samaritan. Be kind to others. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes you may not see the result of your kindness, but God will reward your obedience. Never forget there is eternity. Everything doesn’t end here on earth.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall be kind to others in Jesus’ name. I shall not be callous or insensitive. I receive the help of the Holy Spirit to differentiate between those who genuinely need help and those who are deceitful or want to exploit me.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T.O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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