2nd, love is kind (v. 4). Even if these Corinthians have suffered wrong from others in the church, they are to respond in kindness.
A slave in the West Indies, named Caesar, had gained his freedom and also became a Christian. One day his lord took him to the slave market in search for some new slaves. The owner was surprised to hear Caesar beg for the purchase of yet one more, an old tired Negro. “Why, Caesar, should I buy him? Of what use can he possibly be?” “Please, sir,” replied Caesar, “you must buy him for me.” So the purchase was made. Soon after the old man got very sick, and Caesar cared for him as though he were his father. He washed him, waited on him, and nursed him in every spare moment.
Finally his master asked, “Is he perhaps your father?” Caesar simply smiled and answered, “No, master, he is not my father.” “Well, is he some relative?” “No, master, he is no relative of mine.” “He must be your friend then.” “No, master, he is not my friend.” “But who in the world is he?” asked the master impatiently.
Caesar’s eyes moistened as he said, “He is my enemy. While yet a child he tore me from my parents and sold me as a slave. But I must love my enemy, master, I must!” (Heartwarming Bible Illustrations Copyright © 1998 by AMG International, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
“Kind” is from kresteuetai, “to provide something beneficial for someone as an act of kindness” (Louw-Nida). When you serve others, you do so in love, which is kind. You do something that will benefit somebody, including people you don’t like. When you visit the sick, that is serving them with kindness. You give something beneficial to them—comfort and encouragement. When you give money to somebody in need, that is an act of kindness.
What is the difference between kindness and lovingkindness? If I give you bread, that’s kindness. But if I give you bread with peanut butter and coke, that’s lovingkindness!
“Kind” here is not a noun, but a verb, in the present tense. Thus, love is kind repeatedly and constantly. It is not a one-time act, but a lifestyle.
Permissions: You may copy/paste or distribute this post in part or in whole, provided that you do not change the words or word order or charge a fee beyond the cost of copying or distributing.
Disclaimer: I’ve tried to give credit to whom credit is due. If there is any original thought or reference which I failed to footnote, please call my attention. Once validated, it will be corrected immediately.