The world would be a desolate place without kindness. Yet, recently scientists have discovered that the world’s kindness is shrinking. A study showed that the average college student in 2009 was less empathetic than 75% of students in 1979.
Although kindness is getting rarer, many people are still fighting for kindness to prevail in our fallen world. As Christians, we are called to be warriors for kindness, compassion, and love. We are meant to live by Matthew 7:12, treating others the way we would like to be treated.
Many Christian artists have spoken up about kindness and are determined to encourage its growth instead of its decline. Their messages of kindness speak hope and courage into the hearts of fellow believers.
TobyMac encourages us to “Speak Life”
In his hit song, “Speak Life,” TobyMac encourages listeners to be kind with their words. He describes the meaning of this song in an interview, where he states:
I want to ‘speak life.’ I hope this song reminds you that you can speak life to everyone you come in contact with every day, whether it is through your words, or the look in your eyes, or the smile on your face.
Being kind, whether through words or actions, really does enliven us. When we witness a feat of kindness, we are uplifted, even if the act of kindness doesn’t directly affect us. Isn’t that amazing? God truly did wire us for kindness.
TobyMac writes in “Speak Life” that kind words can reach out lovingly to people and hold them in dark times. Perhaps the wildest thing to imagine is that your act of kindness can affect someone so deeply that they remember it in a difficult time. Perhaps you can even remember how someone’s kindness gave you hope.
Even if it’s hard to believe, our kind words really do have an impact:
Well, it’s crazy to imagine
Words from my lips as the arms of compassion
Mountains crumble with every syllable
Hope can live or die
(TobyMac, “Speak Life”)
Lauren Daigle tells us that kindness takes courage
In a video, Lauren Daigle speaks about the power of kindness as well as the pain it sometimes causes. Being kind is a feat of vulnerability in a lot of ways. We all have limitations, and when we choose to spread kindness, we are giving a piece of our energy and resources to another person. This can be painful.
All too often, we see others throw our efforts into the dust. This can be disheartening and may leave people a bit hesitant to act kindly again. It is a delicate balance.
But Lauren Daigle tells us that we never need to regret kindness:
The thing about kindness is that the fruit isn’t necessarily the person in front of you, it is what [God] does with it.
If we have an eternal perspective, our acts of kindness naturally become easier. God will never take our acts of kindness and rub them in dirt. To Him, your compassion and dedication to blessing others will always shine brighter than the sun.
We have a lot to learn through kindness. Yet, the point of kindness is to give it away. True kindness does not expect anything in return, so guard your heart against the temptation to give only in order to get something in return.
It might be tough to discern your heart. We are all imperfect, so there will be flaws in our kindness. The Holy Spirit will guide us, and Paul addresses the struggle of kindness in the Church in Philippians:
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice (Philippians 1:15–18).
Chris Tomlin worships God with his song “Kindness”
Known for his inspiring Christian music, Chris Tomlin’s song “Kindness” brings to light how God is our greatest example of kindness. God has been so incredibly kind that He laid down His life for us—even though we sinned against Him!
Matthew 9 demonstrates God’s kindness toward us:
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36, NIV).
As Christians, we have experienced firsthand the life-changing effect that kindness can have on a person. This is why we strive to spread kindness and love to those around us.
As Chris Tomlin writes in his song:
It’s Your kindness Lord
That leads us to repentance
Your favor Lord, is our desire
It’s Your beauty Lord
That makes us stand in silence
Is better than life
(Chris Tomlin, “Kindness”)
Kindness draws people to Jesus Christ and the Church. When someone reaches out of his or her world and into another person’s, it changes perspectives—sometimes radically.
The person who acted kindly may never know the effect of that act, but maybe that act will inspire someone. Maybe someone’s life was feeling cold, and kind words sparked it with a flame that can grow and warm others. That is what Jesus did, and that is what we can do.
It is certain that other Christian song artists such as Brandon Heath, Amy Grant, Zach Williams, Phil Wickham, and young artist Anne Wilson are also guiding the way to kindness within the Lyrics of their songs and the interviews that they encounter. That is why Life 88.5 plays their songs – to foster kindness and compassion to all who listen.
If you would like to be encouraged by kindness today, you can stream Life 88.5 on our website or listen on the radio. Every year, we venture on a 40 Day Kindness Challenge, and we hope you will join us. If you would like to have a say in the songs that are played, you can join the Music Team.