chre-stEUetai, the positive side of a loving temper: the exercise of kindness.
Thomas Aquinas: But as to performing good works, he adds: is kind [benign]: benignity is described as a good fire, so that just as fire by melting metal makes it flow, so charity inclines a person not to keep the good things he has, but makes them flow to others, for it says in Prov 5:16: “Let your springs be scattered abroad, and streams of water in the streets,” and this is what charity does: hence, it says in 1 John 3:17: “If anyone has the world’s goods and sees a brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide him?” Hence, Eph 4:32 also says: “Be kind and merciful to one another,” and Wis 1:6: “Wisdom is kindly spirit.
William Barclay: Love is kind: Origen had it that this means that love is "sweet to all". Jerome spoke of what he called "the benignity" of love. There is so much Christianity which is good but unkind. There was no more religious a man than Philip the Second of Spain, and yet Philip the Second founded the Spanish Inquisition and thought he was serving God by massacring those who thought differently from him. The famous Cardinal Pole declared that murder and adultery could not compare in heinousness with heresy. Apart altogether from that persecuting spirit, there is in so many good people an attitude of criticism. So many good Church people would have sided with the rulers and not with Jesus if they had had to deal with the woman taken in adultery.
Barnes & Murphy: And is kind: The word here used denotes to be good-natured, gentle, tender, affectionate. Love is benignant. It wishes well. It is not harsh, sour, morose, in-natured. Tindal renders it, "is courteous." The idea is, that under all provocations and ill-usage it is gentle and mild. Hatred prompts to harshness, severity, unkindness of expression, anger, and a desire of revenge. But love is the reverse of all these. A man who truly loves another will be kind to him, desirous of doing him good; will be gentle, not severe and harsh; will be courteous because he desires his happiness, and would not pain his feelings. And as religion is love, and prompts to love, so it follows that it requires courtesy or true politeness, and will secure it. See 1 Peter 3:8. If all men were under the influence of true religion, they would always be truly polite and courteous; for true politeness is nothing more than an expression of benignity, or a desire to promote the happiness of all around us.
W. Baxendale: Charity Is Considerate: Louis XIV in a gay party at Versailles thought he perceived an opportunity of relating a facetious story. He commenced but ended abruptly and insipidly. One of the company soon after leaving the room, the king said, "I am sure you must all have observed how uninteresting my anecdote was. I did not recollect till I began that the turn of the narrative reflected very severely on the immediate ancestor of the Prince Armigue, who has just quitted us; and on this as on every occasion, I think it far better to spoil a good story than to distress a worthy man."
Joseph Beet: Kind: gentle in conduct, so that a man is pleasant to deal with. In both these qualities [patience and kindness], the man of love is like God (cp. Rom. 2:5), who is an impersonation of infinite love.
John A. Bengel: "Kind" has respect to the extending of good to others.
Joseph Benson: In every step toward overcoming evil with good, it is kind — Mild, gentle, benign; inspiring the sufferer at once with the most amiable sweetness, and the most fervent and tender affection.
John Calvin: What I have rendered "does not act insolently" is in the Greek chre-stEUesthai. Erasmus has rendered it, "is not froward". It is certain that the word has different significations; but, as it is sometimes taken to mean being fierce, or insolent, through presumption, this meaning seemed to be more suitable to the passage before us. Paul, therefore, ascribes to love moderation, and declares that it is a bridle to restrain men, that they may not break forth into ferocity, but may live together in a peaceable and orderly manner.
Alan Carr: Is Kind: This word refers to active goodness that goes forth in behalf of others. Genuine love is never hateful or mean, but it respects others and reaches out to them.
Illustration: The supreme example of this kind of love is God. He is kind to people despite their treatment of Him, Rom. 2:4.
Adam Clarke: Is kind, chre-stEUetai: It is tender and compassionate in itself, and kind and obliging to others; it is mild, gentle, and benign; and, if called to suffer, inspires the sufferer with the most amiable sweetness, and the most tender affection. It is also submissive to all the dispensations of God; and creates trouble to no one.
Stephen J. Cole: Selfless love is kind: Kindness is patience in action. The Greek word comes from a word meaning “useful.” A kind person is disposed to be helpful. He seeks out needs and looks for opportunities to meet those needs without repayment. He is tender and forgiving when wronged. The word was used of mellow wine, and suggests a person who is gentle, who has an ability to soothe hurt feelings, to calm an upset person, to help quietly in practical ways.
The kind person shows kindness in response to harsh treat- ment. Jesus said, “And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the samething. ... But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men” (Luke 6:33, 35). The kindness of God leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Kindness motivates others toward positive change.
As with patience, the real proving ground for kindness is the home. Are you kind to your wife and children? Do you do kind, useful things for them? Are you training your children to be kind to one another by the way you treat your wife and them? Love is not macho; love is kind.
F. C. Cook: Is kind: that would require chre-stEUei: rather, is gracious in demeanour. Compare for the force of middle voice a similar verb areskEUomai, Polyb. "I play the agreeable, make myself pleasant."
J. Cross: The kindness of Christian charity: It is like the teeming cloud, emptying its copious blessing upon the thirsty soil. It is like the swelling stream, overflowing its banks to enrich the plantations of the valley. It is like the fruitful field, pouring its golden harvest into the exhausted granary. It is like the generous oak, shaking the genial dew from its branches upon the humbler herbage at its roots. Nay, it is like God's incarnate love, walking the sinful world, chasing sorrow from the abodes of men, shedding the light of immortality into the valley of the shadow of death, and amidst the dissonances of human selfishness singing a melody which charms the angels down from heaven!
Henry Drummond: Kindness: Love active. Have you ever noticed how much of Christ's life was spent in doing kind things--in merely doing kind things? Run over it with that in view, and you will find that He spent a great proportion of His time simply in making people happy, in
DOING GOOD TURNS
to people. There is only one thing greater than happiness in the world, and that is holiness; and it is not in our keeping; but what God has put in our power is the happiness of those about us, and that is largely to be secured by our being kind to them.
"The greatest thing," says some one, "a man can do for his Heavenly Father is to be kind to some of His other children." I wonder why it is that we are not all kinder than we are? How much the world needs it! How easily it is done! How instantaneously it acts! How infallibly it is remembered! How superabundantly it pays itself back--for there is no debtor in the world so honorable, so superbly honorable, as Love. "Love never faileth." Love is success, Love is happiness, Love is life. "Love," I say with Browning, "is energy of life.
"For life, with all it yields of joy or woe
Where Love is, God is. He that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God. God is Love. Therefore love. Without distinction, without calculation, without procrastination, love. Lavish it upon the poor, where it is very easy; especially upon the rich, who often need it most; most of all upon our equals, where it is very difficult, and for whom perhaps we each do least of all. There is a difference between trying to please and giving pleasure. Give pleasure. Lose no chance of giving pleasure; for that is the ceaseless and anonymous triumph of a truly loving spirit. "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
Jonathan Edwards: Charity disposes us to do good:
Exell & Spence: Suffereth long, and is kind: Passively it endures; actively it does good. It endures evils; it confers blessings.
Leo Gatiss: Kresteuetai is the other side of patience, the active response. Love is slow to anger, and quick to repay evil with kindness, rather than with revenge. Love is not skilled in delivering devastating one-line “put-downs” whenever it is confronted with a personal attack, although given the alleged Corinthian love for slogans, the Corinthian Christians probably were.
John Gill: And is kind: liberal, and bountiful, does good to all men, even to enemies, and especially to the household of faith; he is gentle to all men, affable and courteous to his brethren, and not morose, churlish, and ill natured; he is easy and yielding to the tempers and humours of men; accommodates himself to their infirmities, capacities, manners, and circumstances, in everything he can, that is not contrary to the glory of God, the interest of Christ, the honour of religion, his own con science, and the good of men.
Frédéric Louis Godet: Kind, full of goodness: animated by the constant need to make oneself useful; it is the victory over idle selfishness and comfortable self-pleasing. The verb chre-stEUesthai, from chre-stOS (CHRAomai), strictly denotes the disposition to put oneself at the service of others. In tolerandis malis, says Calvin, in regard to the former of these terms [makrothymei]; in conferendis bonis, in relation to the latter.
Matthew Henry: It is kind--chresteuetai. It is benign, bountiful; it is courteous and obliging. The law of kindness is in her lips; her heart is large, and her hand open. She is ready to show favours and to do good. She seeks to be useful; and not only seizes on opportunities of doing good, but searches for them. This is her general character. She is patient under injuries, and apt and inclined to do all the good offices in her power. And under these two generals all the particulars of the character may be reduced.
H. A. Ironside: "And is kind." How much we need to realize that! Ella Wheeler Wilcox has said something that is not altogether true:
So many gods, so many creeds,
That is a very pretty sentiment, but it is not altogether true. The world needs a great deal more than that; it needs God, it needs Christ. But the world does need people who can be kind. I am afraid many Christians are not always very kind.
I remember hearing of an old Scotch preacher in whose congregation were a number of folks who fancied they had attained a spiritual experience far beyond the majority of the members, a state of perfect holiness wherein all inbred sin had been removed from their very being, and because they were so holy they were extremely critical of other people and harsh in their judgments. The old minister was not much of a theologian, and was not able to meet their arguments in regard to the doctrine, but when he heard them censoring others, he would lean over the pulpit and say, “Remember, if you are not very kind, you are not very holy, because holiness and kindness cannot be separated.” “ [Love]...is kind.” Oh, the kindness of God as seen in the Lord Jesus Christ!
J. Angell James: Charity benignant: In things lawful and things indifferent it bends to the partialities and predilections of others, studying to please all for their good to edification. It would not needlessly crush the wing of an insect, much less inflict upon a rational and immortal being an evil remediless and everlasting. It is eminently pacific and conciliatory; as far as possible without any compromise of the Christian law, endeavouring to live peaceably with all men, and labouring in many ways to promote the harmony of human society. As the sea is composed of drops, and the earth is compacted of atoms, and the daylight is only a profusion of inappreciable rays, and forest and field are refreshed and beautified by millions of imperceptible particles of dew, so it is the aggregate of little things that makes the happiness or unhappiness of domestic and social life; and charity is attentive to the minutest circumstance that can affect the comfort and welfare of mankind, planting here a lily and there a rose where she cannot convert the whole desert into a paradise, pouring in a thousand tiny rivulets to swell the great ocean of human blessedness, and thus impressing the universal conviction of her kindness.
Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown: is kind--the positive side. Extending good to others. Compare with love's features here those of the "wisdom from above" (Jas 3:17).
S. Lewis Johnson: Now, he says that love is kind. That is a word that means something like that, kind, good sometimes. It’s what is referred to in Ephesians 4:32 with reference to our Lord. And there we read these words in Ephesians 4:32, "And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave you," kindness that too, one of the things that make up the nature of biblical love.
W. Phillip Keller: It is essential to point out here that this long-suffering must be endures with kindness, not resentment. We must do it with compassion and mercy for lost men!
God's love to us is oh, so kind, so generous, so very merciful, so patient! Where would we be but for the lovingkindness of Christ! What hope would anyone have of Heaven, our Home with Him, were it not for His kind concern?
"His merciful kindness is great toward us." (Ps. 117:2) is a refrain that never dies. It is repeated in the Psalms scores of times as a reminder that the mercy, compassion and kindness of God flow to us freely, abundantly every day in refreshing rivers.
The kindness of God has drawn me to Him with bonds of love stronger than steel. The mercy of my Lord has endeared me to Him with enormous gratitude and thanksgiving. The generous compassion and intimate care of His gracious Spirit are an enriching refreshment, new every day!
It is extremely difficult to convey on paper in human language the incredible kindness of my Father, God. It seems to me that anyone who attempts to do this falls short. There is a dimension of divine generosity that transcends our human capabilities to clearly convey to one another. It can be experienced, but it cannot be explained.
It is the kindness of God expressed in Christ and revealed to us by His Spirit that supplies my salvation. His kindness makes provision for my pardon from sins and selfishness at the cost of His own laid-down life. It is His kindness that forgives my faults and accepts me into His family as His dearly beloved child. His kindness enables me to stand acquitted of my wrongdoing, justified freely in His presence. God's kindness removes my guilt, and I am at one with Him and others in peace. It is the kindness of God that enables Him to share Himself with me in the inner sanctuary of my spirit, soul, and body. His kindness enables me to be remade, refashioned, reformed gently into His likeness. His kindness gives enormous meaning and dignity to this life and endless delight in the life yet to come.
As this kindness flows into our lives from the life of Christ, it must in turn be passed on to others around us. It is an integral part of the rivers of refreshment that can spring up from within us to run out and refresh others.
Those whose lives it touches may not always return or reciprocate that love. Some may even spurn it or react in anger as they did with Christ. He warned us it might even mean being hated (John 15:17-19)
The divine principle of sowing and reaping still applies. In due course we may be sure that others, from whom we never expected it, will show us great kindness. Our God is not only the God of all consolation but also all compensation.
Show kindness and in due time you will receive it back in abundance. Sow a crop of compassion and you will harvest a field of goodwill. He will surprise you with spontaneity and unexpected delight.
Some of the most memorable moments in life can be those flashing interludes when kindness stole softly into our daily round of duty. I call these times "my Master's bonuses". They come as a joyous surprise. They come unannounced. They come to cheer us along our way.
Keith Krell: Love is kind: Patience must be accompanied by a positive reaction of goodness toward the other person. Kindness, however, is not to be equated with giving everyone what he or she wants. Sometimes love must be tough. In the context of the church, kindness may mean forcing an addict to go through the hell of withdrawal. Kindness may mean saying no to a spoiled child. Kindness may mean reporting a crime committed by a friend. Kindness means to withhold what harms, as well as give what heals. Love is kind, but often tough.
Paul Kretzmann: Love is kind, benignant; it renders gracious, well-disposed service to others, is full of good will toward everybody in deeds, words, and conduct. Just as the Lord has patience with sinners, with the weaknesses of His elect, 2 Pet. 3:9; Luke 18:7; just as He is good and kind, 1 Pet. 2:3; and has shown His kindness in Christ to all men, Titus 3:4; even so all Christians should be found engaged in the virtues of the Lord.
Lange & Schaff: "Love suffereth long and is kind": Here we have opposite aspects of the same quality. The latter expression denotes the exhibition of a mild, gracious, tender disposition. The word chre-stEUetai (from CHRE-STos, useful) occurs only here in all the New Testament; and elsewhere we find it only in the Church Fathers. It primarily means "disposed to be useful". Calvin exhibits the contrast thus -- in tolerandis malis -- in conferendis bonis.
Steve Lewis: Love is kind (chresteuomai) = to demonstrate grace and good nature; to act benevolently.
J. J. Lias: "And is kind": the active, exercise of love; beneficence.
John Lyth: Love is kind:
Heinrich Meyer: The general frame of mind for [long-suffering] is chre-stEUetai: she is gracious (comp Tittmann, Synon. p. 140 ff.), 1 Clement [chapter and verse undetermined]. The verb is found, besides, only in the Fathers.
Mark Heber Miller: (Love is) kind: The Greek KHRESTEETAI is variously rendered: RHM: gracious; PME: it looks for a way to be constructive; but, most use the English "kind." The Middle English root KYNDE means sympathetic, friendly, gentle, tender-hearted, generous. The Greek is a rare word in the Christian Bible, occurring only here in 1 Corinthians 13:4b. Related forms occur about 70 times. Christ’s yoke is kind. (Matthew 11:30) God is kind even toward the unthankful and wicked and thus kindness and mercy are the path to godly perfection. (Luke 6:35; Matthew 5:45) Kindness is often associated with hospitality and giving. (Acts 26:2, 30; 2 Corinthians 8:6, 7, 9) God is characterized by kindness. (Romans 2:4; Titus 3:4; 1 Peter 2:3) Paul elsewhere counsels kindness. (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:12) Kindness is a fruit of the spirit. (Galatians 5:22) Of course, kindness is related to "grace" which is really undeserved kindness.
So, kindness, or being kind, would be characterized by hospitality, charity, giving, mercy, and good manners, or gentility (a word rooted in the old English related to KYNDE).
Someone has said, "When in doubt about what to do to another --do the kind thing." Our Christianity should be characterized by our kindness, particularly toward even our enemies, those unthankful, or even wicked. Only then can spiritual perfection be attained. (Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:30-36)
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