Bible Topics: Kindness and courtesy

Definitions: Kindness is a readiness to assist or show consideration for others; of a gentle, sympathetic, or benevolent nature; helpfulness, thoughtfulness. Courtesy is polite behavior; consideration in interacting with others.

1. God’s kindness towards His children is boundless, steadfast and unconditional.

* Psalm 89:33 My lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail.

* Psalm 117:2 For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.

* Isaiah 54:10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

* Joel 2:13b [God is willing to forgive and relent from sending His justified punishments:] He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil.

* Hosea 2:19 [The Lord said to His people:] And I will betroth [promise to marry] thee unto Me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.

* Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

2. Just as God is kind to us, He expects us to be kind to others.

* Proverbs 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

* Zechariah 7:9b Shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother.

* Romans 12:13 [We should strive to be] distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

* Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

* Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

* Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

* 1 Peter 3:8,9 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

3. Unkind speech leads to unkind actions.

* Proverbs 11:9a An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour.

* Proverbs 12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

* Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

* Proverbs 26:18,19 As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, 19 So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?

4. The virtue of kind speech:

* Proverbs 31:26 [Said of the virtuous woman:] She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

* Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

* Proverbs 25:15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

* 1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

5. We should be kind and courteous to all people, regardless of who they are.

* Deuteronomy 10:17-19 [Taking care of needy strangers is part of Christian kindness.] For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: 18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. 19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. [See also Leviticus 19:34a.]

* Luke 6:30-34 [True kindness gives without expecting to receive.] Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? For sinners also do even the same. 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

* Luke 10:30-37 [Jesus tells a parable of the Good Samaritan, who was of a people hated of the Jews, yet who showed kind concern for the wounded Jew he encountered while traveling. This example clearly illustrates that kindness should be shown to all men, regardless of race or creed. And Jesus asks, after having said we should love our neighbors as ourselves:] 36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him [the good Samaritan]. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

6. Show kindness to those who oppose us.

* Genesis 50:20-21 [Joseph forgave and showed kindness to his brothers during a time of famine, despite the fact they had almost killed him, and had sold him as a slave to Egypt. For the whole story see Genesis chapters 37, 41-45.] But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. 21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

* Exodus 23:4 If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. [See also Deuteronomy 22:1.]

* Proverbs 25:21,22 [Show kindness to your enemies; let the Lord take care of giving them their just punishment in His time.] If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.

* Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. [See also Matthew 5:43-48; Proverbs 25:21,22.]

7. Being kind and courteous is part of showing love.

* Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

* 1 Corinthians 13:4a [Love] suffereth long, and is kind.

* Colossians 3:13,14 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on [love], which is the bond of perfectness.

8. Kindness and courtesy considers others’ feelings, weaknesses and limitations.

* Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the Words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

* Romans 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

* Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. [See also 1 Corinthians 8:13.]

* Romans 15:1,2 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

* 1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.

9. Kindness and courtesy often means unselfishly putting others’ needs before our own.

* Isaiah 58:6,7 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh [kinfolk]?

* Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

* 1 Corinthians 12:25b,26 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

* Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

10. Being kind and courteous is part of our Christian sample.

* John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.

* 2 Corinthians 6:4a,6 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience … 6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned [unpretended, sincere].

* 2 Peter 1:5-8 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience Godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

11. The Lord sees every deed of kindness and compassion, and will reward us accordingly, both on earth and in the Hereafter.

* Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

* Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will He pay him again.

* Isaiah 58:10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:

* Luke 10:35 [In the story of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan is an illustration of Jesus, and each of us the inn-keeper. See verses 30-35:] And on the morrow when he [the Samaritan] departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

* Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward His Name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

12. Often in the Bible, little deeds of kindness resulted in great blessings.

* Genesis 18:1-5 [Abraham very graciously invited three traveling strangers to stay with him, later discovering that one was the Lord Himself, accompanied by two angels. It was during this visit that the Lord told Abraham he and his old and barren wife would have a son who would become “a great and mighty nation.”]

* Genesis 19:1-29 [Lot kindly warns two strangers to not stay out in the dangerous streets of Sodom, and then invites them to come home with him. They turn out to be angels who save him and his two daughters from the destruction of Sodom.]

* Exodus 2:16-21 [Moses’ kindness to Jethro’s seven daughters at the well resulted in being taken into their home for the 40 years he was a fugitive from Egypt, as well as being given one of Jethro’s daughters, Zipporah, to marry.]

* Joshua 2:1-14; 6:16-25 [Rahab the harlot hid the two Hebrew men who had come to spy out the city of Jericho. When the city was later destroyed, Rahab and her family were the only ones spared.]

* Esther 2:7 [After her parents died, Mordecai takes care of his young cousin Esther, treating her as his own daughter. Later, after receiving years of good training from her uncle, Esther is chosen to be queen by King Ahasuerus of Persia, and ends up saving the lives of Mordecai and his countrymen, who were to be killed in a conspiracy against them. Finally, Mordecai is highly honored by the king:] For Mordecai the Jew was next unto King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.

* Samuel 17:27-29; Kings 2:7 Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, 28 Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse, 29 And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness. 1 Kings 2:7 [Later, David directs his son Solomon to take good care of his friend who had helped supply him and his men with food when they were in the wilderness:] But shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother.

* 1 King 17:8-24 [A poor widow obediently gives her last bit of food to Elijah, and then God not only miraculously supplies her with flour and oil for the duration of the famine, but also revives her son who had died from sunstroke.]

* Acts 27:42-43 [During a storm and shipwreck, Paul’s life and ministry, as well as his fellow-prisoners, almost ended, except for the kindness of a Roman centurion:] And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. 43 But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land.

* Acts 28:2,7-8 [Publius, the governor of Malta, received Paul kindly. Then when Publius’ father lay ill, Paul prayed for him and he was healed.]

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