In our culture, when we think of kindness we think of simple acts, such as providing a meal, sending flowers, or giving a gift of money. All these things are kind, but Jesus wants us to go deeper. Supernatural kindness starts with the Golden Rule:
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12 NLT
The kindness Jesus speaks of can only be born out of a grateful heart. Those who have received and accepted true kindness are eager to return it.
K –Kingdom principal
I –Inspired by love
N –Never gets old
D –Develops lasting relationships
N –Never returns void
E –Echoes sincerity
S –Seeks to bring joy
S –Spreads hope
Jesus certainly expressed kindness to all those around Him, but today I want to look at David. Before David was king of Israel, before he became a man ‘after God’s own heart’ (Acts 13:22), he faced true hatred. During Saul’s reign as king, David became the object of his hostility. Born out of Saul’s insecurity and jealousy, he sought to destroy David. Saul would strike out at David with his words, with his spear, and even chase him with his army. Saul was relentless in his pursuit of David.
Yet, Jonathan, Saul’s son, loved David like a brother and they forged an unbreakable friendship. This friendship would cause David, during his reign, to want to show kindness to the heirs of his enemy Saul. However, David went beyond the simple gestures of being nice –he showed genuine, God-inspired kindness.
In 2 Samuel 9:3 (NLT), David asks:
“Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If so, I want to show God’s kindness to them.” Ziba replied, “Yes, one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet.”
In steps Mephibosheth, a single heir to Saul’s kingdom, currently a nobody in David’s kingdom –but as a son of Jonathan, he was about to be restored to a position of honor. David would bring him into his presence and lavish him with supernatural acts of kindness:
1. Mephibosheth was given not just some property, but all the property that once belonged to Saul (2 Sam. 9:7).
2. He was given not just food rations, but invited to eat at the king’s table (2 Sam. 9:7).
And, if that was not enough…
3. He was not left to fend for himself, but given many servants, like royalty, to farm the land and produce food (2 Sam. 9:10).
David had no reason to concern himself with Mephibosheth. He was now king, but instead he chose to personally invest in this heir of Saul’s, this cripple. Why? –because even though Saul had become corrupt and evil, Jonathan had loved David and David’s heart overflowed with a desire to return the kindness shown him. David could have been nice to Mephibosheth, but he wanted to show ‘God’s kindness’ -forgiving the sins of the grandfather, remembering the actions of the father. This is Christ-like behavior and the reason David was a man ‘after God’s own heart.’ Today, don’t just be nice to someone, show God’s kindness!
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.