World Kindness Day is November 13. I think we’d all agree kindness is a trait worth cultivating. Let’s join hands with love and kindness, and make a difference by touching someone’s heart not only on November 13, but every day.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).
God’s Word stresses the importance of being kind. The word kindness is referenced in forty-seven books of the Bible for a grand total of 322 times.[i] The Bible brims with the kind acts of Jesus and is a desired trait for His children.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12).
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. When we live to please the Spirit, we produce the fruit of the Spirit.
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
3 Benefits of Kindness
I’ve been the recipient of kindness from others. I bet you have too. You already know that kindness can touch hearts and changes lives. But some might be surprised to learn practicing kindness benefits us as much as receiving it.
1. Kindness is good for our mental and emotional health.
Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves (Proverbs 11:17).
Performing acts of kindness makes people happier. In one study, participants completed five random acts of kindness on a specific day, once a week, over a ten-week period. Upon completion, participants reported elevated happiness.
But the study revealed it’s important to vary the acts. The act of buying coffee five times for five different people didn’t result in the same level of happiness as carrying out varying actions. The reason is related to our emotional investment. Repeating the same action multiple times doesn’t involve as much effort as coming up with five different acts of intentional kindness (Hamilton 3).[i]
Many psychologists claim we’re genetically wired for kindness. I believe this to be true because God creates us to be kind. When we deny our natural inclination to show kindness, our nervous system in stressed which does the opposite of good for our health (Hamilton 68-71).
2. Kindness is good for our physical health.
Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body (Proverbs 16:24).
Kindness benefits our heart and immune system. New studies show it might help us live longer” (Hamilton 44-47). This good news can be attributed to oxytocin, a hormone released when we connect with others. The “oxytocin flows through our brain and body.” It helps “keep our blood pressure low, heal our wounds, and even prevents damage to the cardiovascular system.” Oxytocin reduces levels of free radicals and inflammation in the heart, thus, slowing aging (Hamilton 57-59).
Performing kindnesses for others also battles two risks faced by cardiac patients: depression and isolation (Ferrucci 249)[i]When we show kindness to others, we show others the love of God. #WorldKindnessDay #kindness Click To Tweet
3. Kindness shows others the love of God.
Love is kind (1 Corinthians 13:4).
Love and kindness go hand-in-hand. If love is kind, as says First Corinthians, then kindness is love in action. When we show kindness to others, we show others the love of God. Jesus says love for God is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it:
Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-38).
Observing World Kindness Day
World Kindness Day is November 13. The day is an international holiday unofficially observed in many countries, including the United States. Its objective is to spread kindness with small gestures. The major goal of the day is to promote kindness to prevail over hatred.[i]
I think we’d all agree kindness is a trait worth cultivating. Let’s join hands with love and kindness, and make a difference by touching someone’s heart not only on November 13, but every day.
Actions don’t have to be big. A touch, a smile, a glance, a compliment all speak volumes to someone who is lonely, sick, or feels invisible. Small and silent actions can bring the greatest blessings. To both you and the recipient.
Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness finds life, prosperity, and honor (Proverbs 21:21).
Bonus Activity: Failures of Kindness
“Failures of Kindness” is a commencement address delivered by George Saunders. The speech is both moving and thought-provoking.
Tell us about a kindness you’ve received or given in the comments. Or share your favorite Scripture about kindness.
Happy Kindness Sharing!
[i] Ferrucci, Piero. The Power of Kindness. New York: Penguin Group. 2006
[i] Hamilton, David R., Why Kindness is Good for You. US: Hay House, Inc. 2010.