Need: We Need To Show More Kindness
The Story: Colossians 3:12
The Apostle Paul urges his readers that they should act according to their new identity. Since they are in Christ, they are holy and loved, and they have a responsibility to act appropriately. Paul tells his readers that they should clothe themselves with kindness.
Kindness is a vague term that is often used interchangeably with goodness, gentleness, and generosity. Readers can find one example of kindness in the actions of Onesiphorus.
Nearing the end of his life, Paul writes a letter to Timothy. Unlike his previous imprisonment, where he lived in a house, Paul finds himself locked away in a cold dungeon in Rome and wearing chains like a criminal. Prisoners in antiquity depended on the help of others for food, clothing, and other items and not the government. Without the help of friends or family, prisoners would suffer tremendous hardships. As we read in 2 Timothy, most of Paul’s friends and “fellow workers” had deserted him. But Paul tells us that Onesiphorus and his family helped Paul during his darkest days by “refreshing” him (2 Tim 1:16-18). This probably involved food, clothing, and encouragement which was characteristic of his earlier assistance to Paul when Paul was in Ephesus.
Rome is over 800 miles from Ephesus, and most likely, Onesiphorus was from Ephesus. This journey is quite the trek for someone 2,000 years ago and would have taken weeks to sail. Onesiphorus and his family exemplified dedication and kindness.
In this section of Colossians, Paul is urging his readers (which includes us) to cultivate the virtue of kindness which is a characteristic of Christ. Kindness doesn’t have to be a heroic act. We don’t have to travel 800 miles to show kindness.
Placing an IV more gently, speaking softer to patients, or allowing a co-worker to vent to you without judgment are all examples of acts of kindness.