As the final post in this study of kindness, I want to highlight some virtues that accompany kindness. Think of this as a sort of recipe for kindness. Or like a kindness fruit salad. Or something. The point is that, not only do these things appear in passages that talk about kindness, they are also part of what helps us to be kind. And I don’t know about you, but I’ll take any help in that department that I can get because, as we’ve mentioned a few times, true kindness is not the easiest task in the world we live in.
Now that we’ve spent some time considering kindness, we can see that it is selfless, impartial, and intrinsically connected to love. We’ve seen examples of kindness in the life of Jesus and in how Ember and Ksa act in Ashes. And now, to round out this section of our study, I want to just consider two more Scriptures that give a practical idea of what kindness looks like.
As you might imagine, most of the emphasis on kindness in Ashes falls to Ember, as the Cinderella character of this Cinderella retelling. But she’s not the only one with notable acts of kindness. Ember is joined on her adventure by Lord Ksa, the next leader of a powerful ruling city and someone who has lived his entire life surrounded by certain ideals of superiority and elitism. However, Ksa himself is not weighed down by those ideals, and his humility and kindness become some of the most notable parts of his character.
The idea for Ashes was born out of the desire to place the focus on qualities other than physical beauty. When Samuel was looking for the next king of Israel in 1 Samuel 16, God reminded him that, “the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (verse 7b, ESV). Despite this reminder, it can still be easy to be swept away in the mad rush to be physically appealing to others. We want to be nice to look at. And I think that a lot of women have, at least at one point, wanted to be the beautiful princess, the most stunning one at the ball. That’s what we usually see in the story of Cinderella. This fairy tale often has some connections to the idea of kindness, but that can be overshadowed by the idea of being pretty. After all, the prince does notice Cinderella at the ball primarily because of her appearance. So what happens when you strip that piece away? Where does the Cinderella story go when Cinderella herself is not actually all that pretty by the world’s standards?
It feels right that I should start this off by answering the question, “What’s the deal with kindness, anyway?” It’s a theme in most of my books, an obvious focus of Ashes, and now the subject of a devotional to accompany that story. So why? Why do I never seem to let the idea of kindness go?
The short answer is that it’s important, and I guess I could leave it at that. But clearly, I’m not, so brace yourselves for the significantly longer answer. Yes, kindness is important. But it is also consistently misunderstood. So often when people talk about kindness, it’s unclear what they actually mean. It’s a word that’s slapped in slogans and positioned in reminders, but in many cases, there’s no real meaning behind it. No “umph,” if you will. It’s an empty word, used as a fleeting reminder to be a better person because, in general, the world is cruel. But to view kindness as an empty, vague catchphrase is a mistake that I think can prevent us from actually succeeding in being kind.
What to Expect
This particular page is dedicated to connecting my stories with their inspiration in God's Word. One of the goals of my writing is that it would illustrate God's goodness, love, and truth. These posts are designed to make those illustrations just a little more clear.