‘…blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.’ (1) Proverbs 14.21
This proverb seems to state the obvious; surely it ought to go without saying that it is a good thing to be kind to those in need? We all know that kindness can make a huge difference to people as they go through times of real need, whether this is due to lack of finances, ill health, bereavement or any other need.
However this verse adds a new perspective by calling those who are kind to the needy, ‘blessed’. What is meant by this? Today and tomorrow we will look at two different ways in which this word might apply to those who are kind.
The first reason why we are blessed when we help those in need is that we are immediately reflecting the very heart and nature of God himself. There is a beautiful passage in Galatians 5 where Paul describes the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are what people will exhibit as they come more and more under the influence of the Holy Spirit. These ‘fruits’ are a description of the Holy Spirit himself, so as we come under his influence we become like him. One of these fruits is ‘kindness’. God himself is kind, and when we demonstrate kindness we are showing other people what God is like. This is why we are blessed as we show kindness to others.
Whenever we interact with others, something is flowing from us, so let’s try to ensure this is a reflection of God. It’s bound to bless them, and we get to be blessed as well.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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