Text: II Kings 4:8-17
By: Ekaragha, Isaac (Deacon)
DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Kindness means to be affectionate, charitable, showing benevolence to others in need.
- Engender means to give rise to, to produce or bring about.
- Reward means something of value given in return for an act or services rendered previously.
Kindness is one virtue the Bible has enjoined Christians to practices – Ephesians 4:32, II Peter 1:7.
Kindness should be demonstrated to all irrespective of identity, racial, religious, or ethnic considerations.
It is essentially encouraging to be kind to people whether known or unknown to you because many persons, have by so doing, entertained angels unknowingly – Hebrews 13:2 – Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Galatians 6:10 – Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Now, the Shunamite woman sense of sheer hospitality to prophet Elisha was evidently unsolicited. She was able to discern the compelling needs of the prophet and then opened her arms of kindness to him.
Not only was she offering him delicious meals as often as he shuttled Shunem, but also provided a suitable accommodation for his comfort 2 Kings 4:8-10 – 8 Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food. 9 And she said to her husband, “Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. 10 Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.
How many Christians today can extend such unsolicited kindness to someone not related, close or known to them?
Hence, her deep sense of hospitality stimulated God to give her a son (child) in return through the prophet (II kings 4:8-17).
The moral lesson here is that we are often architect of our divine blessings. You can either make or mar such opportunities as kindness or benevolence often has blessings in return.
There is one who scatters yet increases more;
and there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.
The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. (Proverbs 11:24-25)
….‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35).
OTHER BIBLE CHARACTERS WHO DEMONSTRATED KINDNESS
Dorcas – This was another character who demonstrated little kindness but received great reward in return, having been raised from death by apostle Peter as a result of the concern expressed by those she had helped in the past. This shows that the act of kindness is not restricted to only financial support Acts 9:36-41.
The Widow at Zarephath was so kind to have accorded succour to prophet Elijah with a purported last meal reserved for herself and her son as a result of famine in the land then.
The moral lesson here is that we should endeavour as Christians to always render help from available resources rather than only abundance of resources.
In return to the kindness, Elijah brought back to life her sick and dead child. I Kings 17:10-23.
Abraham – He entertained angels unknowingly having provided them with refreshments while he was in return promised a son of promise Genesis 18:4,5,10.
Cornelius – Often times, the act of kindness to others could earn or attract conversion or salvation to someone.
Cornelius was aptly described as a devout man, one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people and prayed to God always.
A Gentile that earned conversion/salvation through act of kindness Acts 10:1,2,48.
David – Sometimes, the reward of your kindness may not be directly enjoyed by you, but rather by your children or relatives.
Jonathan, King Saul’s son did not directly receive in return the kindness in the form of physical protection he extended to David when his father held sway as king, rather it was his son Mephibosheth that received the great reward at king David’s table II Samuel 9:1,7.
WAYS TO STIMULATE KINDNESS
The concept of individualism makes humans to do things differently from one another.
Some people may have innate zeal or propensity to be kind while others may not have such. Here are few ways to stimulate kindness.
- Continue with your trait of kindness if you are already one.
- Cultivate the habit or act of kindness if you are struggling with it.
- Try to learn such virtues from other Christians or teachings.
- Fervently pray and ask God to grant you the desire as every good gift comes from HIM James 1:17, Matthew 7:7.
BENEFITS OF KINDNESS
- Laying up for yourself treasures in heaven Matthew 6:20.
- May attract physical or spiritual blessings e.g., the Shunamite woman II Kings 4:16,17; Cornelius Acts 10:48.
- Economic prosperity may abound 1 Peter 3:13
- Promotion in workplace or boom in business
- Eternity in heaven all things being equal.
Kindness is a product of love. Christians should endeavour to display some milk of human kindness to others.
When the need arises, whether known or unknown to them.
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35).
We should never grow weary in being kind to others as whatever we do for others is done for Christ’s sake and in due season we shall reap if we do get tired (Colossians 3:17, Galatians 6:9-10).