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Should Christians Just “Be Kind”?

a sign that says be kind on it

Be kind, what does that even mean?

When it comes to living a life that is pleasing to God, it is important to understand that niceness and kindness, while admirable traits, are not synonymous with biblical love. They are aspects of biblical love, the love that abides forever. Kindness without love isn’t kindness at all.

Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?   Romans 2:4

In fact, just being kind often falls short of what true love entails. This is because kindness tends to avoid confrontation at all costs, while love is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to address real problems. Jesus says to love your enemies, not just to be kind to people. Biblical kindness is rooted in the self-sacrificing love of God. God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.

a close up of a person writing on a book

While it may be tempting to prioritize being kind and avoiding any possibility of offense, true love goes beyond this. Love cares enough to risk offense in order to address issues and ensure that things are done in accordance with biblical principles. This means that sometimes, in order to get things biblically right, we need to be willing to confront others in a loving and respectful manner.

Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness;
    let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head;
    let my head not refuse it.
Yet my prayer is continually against their evil deeds.        Psalm 141:5

One of the dangers of focusing solely on niceness is that it can lead to a culture of surface-level pleasantness, rather than a culture that truly reflects the transformative power of the gospel. Love, on the other hand, is concerned with more than just being considered pleasant. It is concerned with presenting others with the need for salvation through Jesus Christ.

Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in His kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.    Romans 11:22

Embracing biblical love means moving beyond the limitations of niceness and kindness. It means being willing to engage in difficult conversations and address the root cause of problems; sin. This may involve stepping out of our comfort zones and risking discomfort or even offense.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.     Ephesians 4:32

However, it is important to note that embracing biblical love does not mean being unkind or harsh. Love, as described in the Bible, is patient, kind, and gentle. It seeks to build up and restore, rather than tear down. It is motivated by a genuine care for others and a desire to see them grow in their relationship with God. We show kindness when we see our own sinfulness in the sinfulness of others, and see that their need for compassion is also our need.


A few comments on tolerance. We live in a world that is drunk on tolerance, a re-defined tolerance. Christians should never sacrifice truth on an altar of tolerance. We have a firm foundation of truth. God doesn’t tolerate any and all viewpoints, neither should we. His truth is that He forms each one of us in the womb. He made us in His image. He created us male and female. We cannot be Christ-like if we forsake or compromise His truth.

So, how can we practically embrace biblical love and get things biblically correct?

1. Seek Wisdom from Scripture

The first step in getting things biblically correct is always to immerse ourselves in God’s Word. The Bible is our ultimate guide for understanding what love truly means and how it should be expressed. By studying and meditating on Scripture, we can gain wisdom and discernment to navigate difficult situations with love and grace.

2. Pray for Guidance and a Heart of Love

Prayer is a powerful gift from God that allows us to connect with Him and seek His will and guidance. As we face challenging circumstances or conversations, it is important to pray for wisdom, discernment, and a heart that is filled with biblical love. God is faithful to provide us with the strength and grace we need to navigate situations in a way that honors Him.

3. Be Willing to Listen and Understand

In order to address real problems and find solutions, it is crucial to be willing to listen and understand the perspectives of others. This requires humility and a genuine desire to share truth. By actively listening and seeking to understand, we can engage in meaningful conversations that lead to biblical truth.

4. Speak the Truth in Love

Confrontation should always be done in a spirit of love and gentleness. It is important to speak the truth, but to do so with kindness and respect. This means choosing our words carefully and considering how they will be received. By speaking the truth in love, we can address issues and help others see the importance of aligning their actions with biblical principles.

5. Extend Grace and Forgiveness

Lastly, embracing biblical love means extending grace and forgiveness to others. We are all imperfect and in need of God’s mercy. By extending grace and forgiveness, we create an environment where growth and restoration can take place. This never means condoning sinful behavior, but rather recognizing our own need for God’s grace and offering it to others.

opened book

Let us abandon a culture of just kindness and niceness, and instead, strive to embrace the transformative power of biblical love. May we grow in this sort of godly love in a world that desperately needs the forgiveness, mercy, and grace of Christ.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,    Titus 3:4-5
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.   Romans 6:23
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.   Romans 10:8-10

Come to Christ.

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