Use these 11 Bible verses on kindness to help prioritize showing kindness and the love of Christ in our broken world today.
In our world today (especially on social media), it can feel that kindness has become a lost art. The goodness in people can seem to be lost in all of the tension and conflict in the world today.
In a society that seems to care more about winning an argument than caring for peoples’ hearts, I want to choose to be intentional about showing my kindness (especially to those who don’t deserve it).
Sometimes that means reaching out to people I haven’t heard from in a while or maybe helping someone in the grocery store that looks like they are having a hard time. Sometimes things as simple and reassuring as just smiling and intentionally asking people around me how they are doing can make a world of a difference.
As a follower of Christ, I certainly want to be a vessel to spread God’s kindness, but that starts with understanding kindness in the Bible. Let’s dive in.
Scriptures On Kindness
1. Proverbs 19:17
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.
Being kind to the poor can be difficult sometimes. It is hard to know exactly what to do in certain situations, especially times when they can be unkind or behave in a way we don’t understand. It is so important that we continue to show our kindness to the poor, even without knowing the details of their backstory.
God created each one of us; poor and rich alike. He has given us so much that we do not deserve.
The community of Christ is such a beautiful thing, learning to take care of each other when someone around us is lacking.
As we show our kindness to the poor, we are also giving our kindness to the Lord. Let us take care, encourage each other, and show kindness to the children that God has created.
2. Luke 6:35
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
“Because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Yikes. Talk about a challenge!
Having relationships with people can be hard because none of us are perfect.
It can become even harder when someone becomes your enemy.
When someone has hurt you, it is so much easier to hurt them back or just distance yourself from them to avoid dealing with the conflict at all (and sometimes laying boundaries is healthy and necessary!).
But our calling here is clear – love your enemies and do good to them without any expectation of getting something in return.
It is so much easier said than done and, of course, I’m still learning to do this well, but it’s such a worthy goal to strive after.
The best news is when our strength fails, we have a Savior to fill in our gaps.
3. Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
In Mark 12:30-31, Jesus says “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.’”
Both of these passages go hand in hand. We must honor one another above ourselves. We must be devoted to one another in love. We must love each other as we love ourselves.
Take the time to think about how you would like to be treated by another person – stranger and friend. What does that look like?
Whatever comes to your mind about how you would like to be treated, that is how you should treat others. Treat others with kindness and love. Treat others how you would like to be treated.
4. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthiasn 13:4-7
God created each and every one of us. He took His time carefully crafting each of us. Everyone is a child of God.
God’s perfect love is patient and kind. Just as God’s love for us is unconditional, so is His kindness. This verse doesn’t describe the other half of the relationship, just your responsibility to love someone well – patiently, kindly, humbly.
5. Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The fruit of the Spirit – I have had these verses memorized ever since I was a kid and it’s a verse I recite to myself daily.
They paint such a beautiful picture of a person who is solidly rooted in Christ with confidence, joy, and faith in God.
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit – an outward sign of Jesus’ work in our hearts.
A Bible study leader in college once pointed out to me that these are labeled the “fruit”, singular, of the Spirit. Not “fruits”, plural. Meaning, all of these characteristics work together to make each other whole. Without love, there is no peace. Without peace, no patience. Without patience, no kindness, and so on.
I appreciate that reminder as I strive to grow in kindness – that the more kind I become, the more that kindness will spill over and grow my patience, love, and joy, as well.
6. Galatians 6:10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
We always have a choice, we always have an opportunity to do good to one another.
To those who are believers of Christ but also to those who may not be. Let us do good to all people.
It can be as simple as saying hello to someone in the grocery store, praying for someone, or inviting someone out for coffee.
I had the opportunity to do good in the grocery store recently when a short elderly woman needed help reaching for some sliced cheese. She wasn’t asking for help and it could have been so easy to have just gone on my way, but I went over and offered her help. She was so grateful!
That intentional kindness can do anything from brightening someone’s day to changing the course of their lives forever.
Doing good does not have to be complicated. Let us all act on those opportunities of doing good for one another.
7. Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
It’s no surprise to me that Scripture directs us so clearly multiple times to be kind.
The fact is, kindness is not natural. If we were to “follow our heart” (a dangerous road that is encouraged in the world today), we would become more and more self-focused, looking to meet our own needs and serve ourselves solely.
I’d rather follow the wise instruction in God’s Word that tells us to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving – even when we don’t feel like it and when the other person doesn’t deserve it.
8. Colossians 3:12-13
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
“Clothe yourself” reiterates the intentionality we’ve been talking about in this post. Clothes don’t just magically slide onto your body.
It requires you to choose what you will wear, grab it out of your closet, and pull your arms through your shirt.
What would that look like with kindness?
For me, that often means thinking ahead and coming up with creative ways to serve people – surprising my son’s teachers with a surprise thank-you gift, leaving a local restaurant a glowing review after loving their food, offering to watch my neighbor’s dogs when I hear they will be going out of town.
Kindness incorporates so many different things – warmth, help, service, awareness of others’ needs, generosity, and so much more.
9. 1 Peter 3:8-9
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:8-9
This verse is one that we should all carry with us and remember as we go about our days.
Let us be sympathetic, compassionate, and humble. If someone treats us poorly, we should not automatically treat them back the same way, but instead, deliver to them the very kindness they might need.
We should all show love and kindness to one another.
10. 1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8
Love covers a multitude of sins. Wow. Is that not incredible?
I feel that love and kindness go hand-in-hand. Build each other up, instead of tearing each other down. Choose to respond with patience and kindness instead of harsh words and silent treatments.
Deep love requires us to be uncomfortable, as does kindness.
11. 1 John 3:18
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18
I love this verse. We should love and be kind to one another not just with our words but also with our actions. Let us show others kindness through our actions!
Send that text to someone who is having a hard week. Write a letter to someone that’s been on your mind, ask if someone needs help, lend a hand when help is needed, give to others freely, hold the door open for someone.
There are so many actions, big ones but also small ones, that can display kindness to one another. It does not have to be complicated or time-consuming. It can be simple and small.
As you go about your week, try to do one kind thing for someone every day. Write them out on your calendar if that helps you keep track!
As you work that into your daily life, it will become just a simple habit to show people kindness through your actions.