“That in all the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of his grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus,” Ephesians 2:7.
What is the difference between being nice and being kind?
Let’s compare kindness with being nice.
Nice has the connotation of being agreeable, friendly, having manners, and being polite. A lot of it is based on how we want others to see us for what we do.
Kindness is based on doing something because of the love in your heart, and needs no recognition. While being kind will be nice, it comes from a different motivation.
Kindness is an attribute of God, but is not found consistently in humans. Kindness is found throughout the Bible, but the word “nice” is not found in the KJV. The human imitation of God’s kindness does not come naturally. None of us are kind. Only as a fruit of the Holy Spirit can we be truly kind.
Kindness will be gentle and mild. It will also treat those that disagree with you (or are even being mean to you) in a Christlike manner with love and respect.
Kindness is how we are on the inside, our character, because of the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives, and will cause us to be sensitive to the physical, emotional, or spiritual needs of others.
Kindness is the way love behaves. It is love in action. A person is kind because of God’s love living in them. They will be kind even if the other person does not deserve it.
In our culture today we talk about random acts of kindness. Kindness is not a random act. That would be a nice act. It is not wrong to do these things, but if you’re not nice or kind at other times, have you really changed anything? But, if you are kind to all, like buying someone’s lunch or coffee, and all the time, are you really making a difference in the world?
As we seek to instill in our children the character traits we want to see in them (and us), let us be careful that we have them examine why they do something nice.
In summary, you could say that it encompasses the fruit of the Spirit, because it is patient, gentle, has goodness (doing good/nice deeds), meek, and temperate, while being done with love, joy,and peace.
I have appreciated this quote from Ellen White: “To love as Christ loved means to manifest unselfishness, at all times and in all places, by kind words and pleasant looks,” MS 17,1899.