Love is kind. It is more than just random acts of kindness. In Matthew Henry’s commentary on 1 Corinthians 13:4 he shares how love “not only seizes on opportunities of doing good, but searches for them.”
It’s a convicting way of putting it. When I think of ‘kind” I think of words like “sweet,” “gentle,” and “considerate.” But the kindness of love described here goes beyond words, but moves toward deliberate action, action of kind loving.
It’s easier for me to bring examples of unkindness in my words and actions. Often the lack of kindness comes from a reaction to a situation. In those moments I am reacting out of my flesh rather than allowing the love Christ has given to be poured out of me. Love is responding to situations with patience then acting in kindness. Kindness is not simply reacting in a sweet way, it is proactive – it moves first. This is the love being described in 1 Corinthians 13. Love that does things. It "searches" for opportunities to love as Matthew Henry says.
This kind love is correlated in 1 John 3:18 - "Let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and truth." In deed and truth we love. So we recognize love when we see others acting it out rather than just speaking about it.
I like to think kindness moves beyond what is expected. Kindness is choosing to love beyond what we think our capacity allows. In reality, our capacity to love kindly is never ending; for love springs from the Holy Spirit who gives us the love of Christ freely and generously. Those who love kindly, typically go unnoticed because they're not in the business of building up their own kingdom, but rather the Kingdom of God.
Since this kindness often goes unseen - I want to take a moment to read the stories of those in your corner of the world who are acting in loving kindness. I think others will be encouraged as well. Please leave a comment below sharing the story of someone in your life who has shown you or others love that moves!