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Examples Of Kindness And Goodness In The Bible
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Examples Of Kindness And Goodness In The Bible

The Bible is filled with examples of kindness, goodness, compassion, and love. In both the Old and New Testaments, we see God’s heart for people to treat each other with mercy, grace, and sacrifice. Though humanity often falls short of God’s standards, Scripture gives us a vision of what a community looks like when it lives out biblical values.

In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore some of the most poignant stories and teachings that reveal God’s desire for us to walk in love. The examples will be drawn from both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament Gospels and Letters. Bible passages will be cited from the New King James Version (NKJV).

Key Takeaways:

  • God modeled kindness and compassion for His people from the beginning.
  • Jesus Christ embodied sacrificial love by giving His life for humanity.
  • Followers of Christ are called to clothe themselves in love, kindness, humility, and compassion.
  • Practicing hospitality, generosity, and forgiveness are key ways Christians live out biblical values.
  • The early church flourished through selfless service and care for one another.
  • Scripture urges us to care for the poor, widowed, orphaned, imprisoned, and marginalized.
  • God blesses those who pursue righteousness, mercy, and peace.
Examples of kindness and goodness in the bible

Old Testament Examples of Kindness and Goodness

The Old Testament provides us with numerous examples of God demonstrating His lovingkindness to His people. Even when they turned away from Him, He continued to pursue them because of His faithful, compassionate heart.

God’s Care for Adam and Eve

In the creation story, we see God’s kindness on full display. He created a beautiful garden paradise for the first humans to live in and enjoy (Genesis 2:8-9). Even after Adam and Eve sinned against God, He sought them out and provided clothing for their shame (Genesis 3:21).

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9 NKJV)

Rather than destroying Adam and Eve, God continued to demonstrate care and concern for their wellbeing.

Joseph Forgives His Brothers

One of the most powerful stories of forgiveness in the Old Testament is that of Joseph. After being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph rose to become second-in-command in Egypt. When a famine hit, Joseph’s brothers traveled to Egypt for food, not realizing who Joseph was. Joseph could have easily taken revenge, but instead he forgave them, saying:

But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life…And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God. (Genesis 45:5, 7-8 NKJV)

Joseph’s grace is an incredible example of how to treat those who have deeply wronged us.

Boaz and Ruth

The story of Ruth and Boaz in the book of Ruth also reveals great kindness. Ruth, a Moabite widow, left her homeland to care for her Israelite mother-in-law Naomi. As a foreigner, Ruth had few protections in Israelite society. However, Boaz showed her “favor, kindness, and generosity” as her kinsman-redeemer (Ruth 2:20 NKJV). He protected Ruth and ultimately married her, saving her from destitution.

Job Comforts Others

After experiencing terrible suffering and the loss of his family, Job encountered cruelty from his friends as they blamed him for his troubles. Yet when God restored Job’s fortunes, Job prayed for his friends, forgiving them for their harsh accusations.

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And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before…Then Job arose, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly. (Job 42:10, NKJV)

Even in his pain, Job showed mercy and compassion to those who had wronged him. He forgave them and prayed that they would be forgiven as well.

Kindness and Compassion of Jesus Christ

The New Testament explodes with examples of grace, mercy, compassion, and sacrifice through the life of Jesus. Although Jesus exhibited righteous anger at times, His overriding character was one of love.

Jesus Heals the Sick

Throughout His ministry, Jesus continuously stopped to heal the blind, the lame, the bleeding, and the chronically ill. He touched “unclean” lepers and social outcasts. He restored dignity to people like Simon the leper, who lived in isolation from community (Mark 14:3).

When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. (Matthew 8:1-3 NKJV)

Jesus didn’t avoid difficult situations – He leaned into human pain and suffering in order to demonstrate God’s compassion.

The Woman Caught in Adultery

In one famous story, the religious leaders caught a woman in the act of adultery and wanted to stone her to death, which was required by Mosaic law. But when they brought the woman before Jesus, He responded with incredible wisdom and mercy, saying, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first” (John 8:7 NKJV).

When the accusers disappeared, Jesus told the woman, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11 NKJV). Though Jesus didn’t excuse sinful actions, He offered forgiveness, grace, and an opportunity for a new life.

Zacchaeus the Tax Collector

Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus demonstrates His kindness toward those scorned by society. As a chief tax collector, Zacchaeus would have been despised for cheating people out of money. Yet Jesus invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ home, defended him against the crowd’s criticism, and declared salvation had come to him that day (Luke 19:1-10).

Despite Zacchaeus’ past wrongs, Jesus spoke value, love, and acceptance into his life. This transformed Zacchaeus, leading him to repent of corruption and make amends to those he had extorted.

Dying on the Cross

The supreme act of compassion and sacrifice was Jesus willingly giving His life on the cross to make atonement for the sins of humanity. Though completely innocent of any wrongdoing, Jesus endured torture, humiliation, and a brutal execution in order to redeem mankind and restore our relationship with God. The cross epitomizes selfless, sacrificial love.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJV)

As His followers, we are called to emulate this kind of radical, servant-hearted love.

Kindness and Compassion in the New Testament Letters

The New Testament letters provide rich instruction on what it means to walk in love, righteousness, and mercy as followers of Jesus. Scripture calls us to put on compassion and kindness as we reflect Christ to the world around us.

Clothe Yourself in Love

The apostle Paul instructs believers to “clothe yourselves with love” and “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12, 14). As Christians, we represent Christ through how we treat others. Loving actions and attitudes should be wardrobe staples.

Carry One Another’s Burdens

Paul also challenges Christians to help carry each other’s burdens: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). We are called to come alongside those struggling and help bear their load.

Speak Life

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29 NKJV)

Our words carry power. Kindness means speaking life, encouragement, and hope to those God brings across our path.

Be Kind to Enemies

Jesus taught His followers to love enemies, extend mercy to persecutors, and bless those who harm them.

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” (Luke 6:27-28 NKJV)

This goes against our human instinct for revenge, but it fulfills God’s standard of righteousness.

Practice Hospitality

Showing hospitality through sharing meals, opening our homes, and making strangers feel welcome is emphasized throughout the New Testament.

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” (Hebrews 13:2 NLT)

Welcoming others reflects the open invitation of the Gospel.

Be Generous and Willing to Share

Generosity and sharing with those in need is commended repeatedly. Paul holds up the giving Macedonian church as an example:

For I testify that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. (2 Corinthians 8:3-4 NKJV)

Freely sharing our resources is meant to be a hallmark of Christians.

Forgive as You Have Been Forgiven

Because we have been forgiven much through Christ, we are called to extend that same grace to others.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 NIV)

Forgiveness and reconciliation should be everyday practices for believers.

Selfless Service in the Early Church

The Book of Acts shows how the early church flourished through mutual care and selfless service. Followers of Jesus set the example by loving their neighbor, giving generously, welcoming outsiders, and solving problems within their community. They laid down personal rights and preferences for the sake of others.

Shared Everything in Common

The first Christians experienced koinonia – a deep fellowship and sharing of possessions with one another. Those with means freely gave to provide for those in need.

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. (Acts 2:44-45 NKJV)

This radical generosity led to there being “no needy persons among them” (Acts 4:34 NKJV).

Broke Down Barriers

Within the early church, racial, cultural, and socioeconomic barriers were torn down as people from all walks of life were welcomed into spiritual family. Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor alike worshipped, learned, and served alongside each other.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28 NKJV).

True righteousness requires setting aside prejudices and embracing our shared identity in Christ.

Served Widows

One of the first administrative challenges for the new church was caring for Hellenist widows who were being overlooked in daily food distribution. The Twelve gathered the disciples together to solve this problem. Seven spirit-filled men were appointed for the task of fairly serving these widows (Acts 6:1-6).

Visited Prisoners

Imprisoned believers were not forgotten by their fellow Christians. When Peter was imprisoned, “constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church” (Acts 12:5 NKJV). And Paul urges the Colossian church to “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them” (Hebrews 13:3 NKJV).

Caring for the Marginalized

A frequent theme throughout Scripture is God’s heart for those who are poor, oppressed, imprisoned, orphaned, or otherwise marginalized. Jesus specifically taught that serving “the least of these” is like serving Him directly. Christians are commanded to practice justice, defend rights, and care for the vulnerable.

Defend the Poor and Oppressed

Defend the poor and the fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and the needy. Deliver the poor and the needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 82:3-4 NKJV)

We are called to speak and act on behalf of the disadvantaged.

Care for Orphans and Widows

Since orphans and widows had few legal protections in ancient cultures, Scripture repeatedly emphasizes caring for them.

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27 NKJV)

We honor God by meeting their practical needs.

Set Captives Free

Passages like Isaiah 58 instruct believers to “spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed” and to “set the oppressed free” (Isaiah 58:6, 9 NKJV). Working for freedom and justice is part of our Kingdom mission.

Welcome the Stranger

The Israelites were continually reminded of their own history as displaced foreigners in Egypt. This was to motivate them to welcome strangers and aliens into their land.

“You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 22:21 NKJV)

Hospitality requires opening our arms to those different from us.

The Blessing of Righteousness, Mercy, and Peace

Scripture reminds us that God blesses those who pursue righteousness, mercy, and peace. Though living out biblical values is challenging in a fallen world, it aligns us with God’s Kingdom and brings blessing.

Blessed are the Merciful

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7 NKJV)

Those who live compassionately receive mercy and grace in return.

Blessed are the Peacemakers

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9 NKJV)

Bringing reconciliation earns the honorable title of a child of God.

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NKJV)

A heart of love and integrity enjoys intimate fellowship with the Lord.

Blessed are the Persecuted

Jesus declared blessing on those persecuted for righteousness, promising them the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5:10). Standing for truth brings eternal reward.

Be Merciful as Your Father is Merciful

Jesus challenges us to be merciful just as God has been merciful to us. It is part of reflecting His character to the world.

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.“ (Luke 6:36 NKJV)

Mercy should be a defining quality of Kingdom people.

Conclusion

These examples throughout Scripture provide a glimpse into God’s beautiful vision for humanity. He wants us to reflect His heart of compassion and kindness to our families, neighbors, enemies, society, and even creation itself. It is not an easy calling, but yields blessing when embraced.

May the biblical truths and illustrations in this post inspire us to greater generosity, forgiveness, hospitality, and service. Our world is desperate for the radical love modeled by Jesus Christ. May we have the courage and grace to follow in His footsteps each day.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.