Courtesy & Kindness

 

Kind or kindness: Friendly, generous, warm-hearted, sympathetic, understanding, charitable, humane, considerate, and generous.

Courtesy or courteous: Polite behavior and gracious consideration toward others.

 

Words related to Kind are kin, family, kindergarten, and king. The verb form of kin would be, “To kin” and thus the past tense would be, “Kinned” which appears to be related to, “Kind.” Kind then has a possible understanding of being good as to one’s family. To kin someone is to be kind to them and they then have been kinned.

 

Although the need and value of courtesy and kindness are well recognized they are not practiced as much as they should be, not even in the Church. First let’s hear what people have said about courtesy and kindness. Then we will look at what God has said in His Word, the Bible.

*   Intelligence and courtesy not always are combined; Often in a wooden house a golden room we find.  --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

*   Politeness is the art of choosing among one's real thoughts.  --Abel Stevens

*   The small courtesies sweeten life; the greater ennoble it.  --Christian Nestell Bovee

*   It is better to have too much courtesy than too little, provided you are not equally courteous to all, for that would be injustice.  --Baltasar Gracin

*   To speak kindly does not hurt the tongue.  --Proverb

*   Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart. Life is not so short but that there is always time for courtesy.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

*   We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

*   Kindness is a language the dumb can speak and the deaf can hear and understand.  --Christian Nestell Bovee

*   The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.  --William Wordsworth

*   Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.  --Joseph Joubert

*   You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

*   Those that give offense are too quick to give; those that take offense are too quick to take.  --Ralph Russell Orton

 

These quotations are pretty good. But the final authority or proof is the Word of God, the Bible. And the Bible has a great deal to say about courtesy and kindness.

*   (Eph 4:29-32 NIV)  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. {30} And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. {31} Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. {32} Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

*   (1 Th 5:15 NIV)  Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

*   (2 Tim 2:24-26 NIV)  And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. {25} Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, {26} and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

*   (1 Pet 3:8-9 NIV)  Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. {9} Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

*   (2 Cor 6:3-7 NIV)  We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. {4} Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; {5} in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; {6} in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; {7} in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;

*   (Gal 5:22-23 NIV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

*   (Col 3:12-13 NIV)  Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. {13} Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

 

The point today is this; courtesy and kindness are a necessary part of our walk with the Lord. We heard Sherry talk about the tongue. We saw that the tongue can be used in terrible ways that can condemn us regardless of what we might do otherwise. But the tongue is not the only way we manifest a lack of courtesy and kindness. We commit the same error in our behavior, in our attitudes, in what we do and in what we fail to do. We commit the same error even in our thoughts that others know nothing about. But when I say others know nothing about our thoughts I am not completely accurate. God knows our thoughts and our hearts.

*   (Heb 4:12 NIV)  For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

 

Be courteous and kind. Do not bring judgment upon yourself.