Some of the most impactful words ever spoken to me came from a friend a few summers ago. She wrote me a letter and in it she said, “There’s a difference between niceness and kindness. Niceness flows out of fear but kindness flows from the heart.”
“There’s a difference between niceness and kindness. Niceness flows out of fear but kindness flows from the heart.”
Maybe we are insecure and want to build others up so that they like us. Maybe we want to serve someone so that the people around us see our service and notice us. Maybe we want to strike up a conversation with someone simply because they have something to offer us. I am guilty of all of these hidden motives. To others, that may come off as kindness, but we know the position of our hearts.
Niceness masks itself as kindness, but true kindness comes from a heart that knows the heart of God. Kindness can’t be mustered or manipulated. Kindness looks at other people with compassion and love, it doesn’t look inwardly.
Have you ever noticed that being nice sometimes comes from a heart that is actually self-focused?…Kindness looks at other people with compassion and love, it doesn’t look inwardly.
The thing is, kindness isn’t always easy. Sometimes kindness means giving difficult correction to a friend that will ultimately point them to Jesus, as painful as it is. Sometimes kindness gets runs over. Sometimes kindness is unseen. Kindness doesn’t point people to us, as much as we want it to.
Kindness is difficult. But ultimately, kindness reflects the person of Jesus and His unfailing love and mercy to those around us. Let’s do that. Let’s be kind.
“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’” Jeremiah 31:3