What is desired in a man is kindness, and a poor man is better than a liar.
The book of Proverbs is a book about wisdom and personal character. Here we read of a simple characteristic that should define our character: kindness. Proverb 19:22 frames kindness as a character trait that is “desired” in a person.
Many self-help books have been written about how to attract and influence other people. Though good advice can be found in many of those books, the Bible reveals the core practical elements of character that will attract people to us, allow us to be a positive influence on others and help us develop good friendships.
One of those characteristics is kindness. Kindness is a big word that encapsulates many things.
Here are three practical points on kindness:
- Kindness should not be displayed insincerely to manipulate other people to do our will. True kindness is a “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23), meaning it should be developing naturally in the life of a Christian who is responding to the influence of God’s Spirit.
- Kindness is displayed by being mindful of the needs of others. Read the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. The Samaritan saw the needs of the beaten man on the road, and he sacrificed his time and resources to serve his needs. The Samaritan didn’t do this to be seen by others or to get anything from the injured man. The point of the parable is that he showed kindness driven by genuine concern.
- Kindness should be displayed by the way we speak to others. The Proverbs 31 woman is described as having “the law of kindness” in her words (Proverbs 31:26). Kind words generally “comfort” and “edify” others (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Read more about the gift of the Holy Spirit and the fruit it produces in the article “How Do You Know You Have the Holy Spirit?”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: "Two Become One."