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There is not enough simple kindness in the world. Lack of courtesy and concern can lead to people feeling unhappy, useless and unloved. At its very worst it can lead to broken relationships, anger, suicide and even wars.

Saul was Israel's first king in the Old Testament. He later died in battle and David, the next king, asked if there was anyone left in Saul's family that he could do some good to - even though he had been Saul's enemy! He was told that a son of Jonathan (one of Saul's sons who was also killed) remained. But he was crippled. King David sent for him; his name was Mephibosheth. This young disabled man was welcomed into the royal palace and from then on ate every day at the king's table. What an act of great kindness! See 2 Samuel chapter 9 verses 1 to 7, and to the end of the chapter, for more of this story.

Jesus Christ was the kindest person there has ever been, when He walked among the poor and oppressed, the sick and distressed... and the frankly disliked. Zacchaeus, a tax collector (and rich because he was in the habit of cheating in money matters) was keen to see Jesus. But he was a short man, so he climbed up a sycamore tree to get a better view of Jesus, who was due to pass that way. Jesus was surrounded by a large crowd of people (as usual) and could easily have missed Zacchaeus, or just ignored him, but he called him down (by name!) - and then invited Himself to Zacchaeus' house. Zacchaeus was thrilled! That very day he repented of his sins and accepted Jesus as his Saviour. Read the story in Luke chapter 19 verses 1 to 10.

1 Corinthians chapter 13 verses 4 and 5 say "Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs". Ephesians chapter 4 verses 31 and 32 say "Get rid of all bitterness, passion and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ". And Proverbs chapter 15 verse 4 reads "Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit". How true... from Jesus' days on earth right up to the twenty-first century.