More than a Play on Words

Animals of the Stuttgart zoo: Wilhelma Stuttgart

“Love is kind.” – At this stage I like to start off referring to the German Luther bible. In the German text this is rendered: “Love is friendly.” I like this word. It implies that love addresses itself to other people in a way as would be done by a friend.

The English word “kind” also is used with another meaning. It can refer to a group of persons or things that have certain similarities.

It seems to me that ‘kindness’ will emphasise that which we have in common: We are of the same kind. We are men and woman originally created in God’s own image. God has a loving plan for all of us. Jesus laid down his own life to safe us all.

Love would generally not stress superiority over another. Kindness is a quality that allows us to feel with others. We do not look down upon others. We know that we too are merely fallible human beings.

As we focus on similarities between ourselves and others we will allow people to feel at ease in our presence. Even we are more likely to find ways to help them grow.

You are looking for some scripture reference to substantiate what I am trying to say? Perhaps take this one:

“Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.” (Romans 12:15, 16 /KJV).

As you rejoice with those who are happy you tell them: I am glad you have some reason to be happy. It makes sense to me to feel happy about things like that. It is good for us in all things to be happy and grateful to God!

If you do otherwise you might convey the feeling: It is foolish to get that excited about such trivial, unimportant things. In the worst case you may cause somebody’s happiness to give way to sadness or lonesomeness.

“Weep with them that weep.” – Things that have hit you so hard might affect me too. It is human to react in this way when facing losses. You are not alone. I can feel with you.
A kind person will tell another: We both are human. Human beings do react emotionally. Emotions can help us to cope with various circumstances. We also can help each other as we feel with each other.

Kindness and friendliness will tell others: We are much of the same kind. This is a quality of love.



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Will Others Recognise Our Intended Kindness?


Have you had any experiences with dogs? Anybody who gets close to where other people live will become aware of their four-footed family members at times.

Suppose you have known some dog that trusted you and enjoyed you touching and stroking its back. Will it be wise to conclude that just any other dog at any time will happily accept this kind of treatment from you? To some dogs you may be but a stranger who ought not to intrude into their realm.

Honestly at times I do compare dogs and people. I feel dogs and people have much in common. Not all dogs will react just in the same way if you approach them. People may have different feelings about what you do or say to them as well.

Again I am dealing with kindness. “Love is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4/NIV)

It seems to me that kindness is not an absolute term. I feel it is relational.

You may find kind words to happy and healthy youths. However, if you speak to seriously sick or disabled individuals in exactly the same manner, your words to them may not sound altogether blissful.

By your words you may make certain people happy. Yet quite possibly others will react quite differently if you address them in just the same way.

Kindness requires that you be aware of the other individual. Your behaviour may not be perceived as kind unless you can relate to somebody’s feelings.

Naturally we cannot know everything about all men and woman we meet. But how are we using the scant information that is available to us?

Do we respect and appreciate the other? If we at heart should despise another, supposedly kind words may still be an unpleasant experience to him or her.






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