Being kind is NOT a Suggestion
Jesus had some things to say about being kind. Actually, Jesus had some things to say about loving one another, and being kind to each other would certainly fall under that umbrella. The point here is that kindness is not something we have the right to make a choice about. It is a commandment, period. Jesus said so. Enough said, right?
Matthew 22: 37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one an other.
Love matters to God: a lot. How much does it matter to Him? Well, just read the above passage. Jesus taught us that the greatest commandment is to love God with everything we have. And the second greatest commandment is like it: we are to love our neighbor like we love ourselves.
Jesus didn’t say these two were the biggest suggestions; He said they are the biggest commandments! These aren’t things Jesus would have us do if we don’t mind, or if we agree or if we like it.
We are to love our neighbor just as we love ourselves, which for most of us is fairly complete. God says so. If we choose to NOT love our neighbor, we are basically thumbing our noses in the face of Almighty God! That is really not a good idea.
That was not the only instance where Jesus made it crystal clear that to love our fellow man is not something He would really, really like us to do, but is a commandment. Jesus feels strongly about the things He has commanded us to do. In John 14:15 Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” If we love Jesus, if we are one of His, we will strive to do as he says; in our devotional verse, we learn that He commands us to love one another.
Isn’t that fairly simple? If we love Jesus, we will love one another.
How did God love us? John 3:16 tells us that:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
“The world” is from an obscure Greek word which means “everybody in the world.” Okay, it’s not really obscure; it simply means what it says. The point is, we are to love the world as well. Before anyone gets excited and starts telling me that The Bible says not to love the world, let me define. Loving the world means loving the people of the world, not the things of the world.
Just in case the point was not clear, let’s recap what Jesus had to say about His commandment to love.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another
John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
1 John 4:21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Got all that? Seems pretty clear.