Question: "What does it mean that love is kind (1 Corinthians 13:4)?"
Answer: First Corinthians 13 stands as one of the most famous chapters in the Bible. The subject is love, and many consider this portion of Scripture to be Paul’s greatest literary work. In verse 4, we read, “Love is kind.”
In verses 1-3 the word love is mentioned three times, in the context of great religious endeavors—which are nothing without love. Then Paul begins to paint a picture of love’s qualities, and one of the first strokes of his brush reveals that love is kind.
Kindness is noted as part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Love is also in the list, revealing the close connection between love and kindness. Living a life of love marked by kindness is one aspect of living in a way that pleases God.
Kindness is characterized by benevolence and tenderness. A kind person is disposed to help others and to do so with sympathy and consideration. Godly love will make a person kinder. No one can be loving and unkind at the same time.
God is love (1 John 4:8), and that means He is kind. God’s kindness leads to repentance (Romans 2:4) and salvation (Romans 11:22). The ultimate expression of God’s kindness is found in “the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).
Love is kind. May the Lord fill us with His love so that we might be kinder, more forgiving people for His glory.