More Like Jesus: Reflections on Kindness and Goodness

March 24, 2020

by Peter Amsterdam

As we continue this series of quotations on the topics that were originally covered in the More Like Jesus series,1 the focus will be on kindness and goodness. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we read of both kindness and goodness as being attributes of God. If we are striving to be more like Jesus, then reflecting these attributes in our everyday lives is part of doing so.

What does the LORD require of you but to … love kindness.2

Thus says the LORD of hosts … show kindness … to one another.3

Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?4

Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he [God] said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name.”5

I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!6

How great is his goodness.7

The fruit of the Spirit is … kindness, goodness … against such things there is no law.8


“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.”—Barbara De Angelis

“One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession.”—Sophocles

“If you have kindness in your heart, you offer acts of kindness to touch the hearts of others wherever you go—whether they are random or planned. Kindness becomes a way of life.”—Roy T. Bennett

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”—Aesop

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.”—Mother Teresa

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”—Leo Buscaglia

“A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.”—Joseph Joubert

“Let us learn to live with kindness, to love everyone, even when they do not love us.”—Pope Francis

“When you carry out acts of kindness, you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel.”—Harold Kushner

“Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.”—Confucius

“Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.”—Eric Hoffer

“Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.”
—Adam Lindsay Gordon

“Treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they are nice, but because you are.”—Roy T. Bennett

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but the manifestations of strength and resolution.”—Kahlil Gibran

“Kindness is the ability to know what the right thing to do is and having the courage to do it!”—RAKtivist9

“Kindness gives birth to kindness.”—Sophocles

“Getting money is not all a man’s business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.”—Samuel Johnson

“Never lose a chance of saying a kind word.”—William Makepeace Thackeray

“It’s not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even—or rather, especially—when we’d prefer not to be.”—Josh Radnor

“Be kind to unkind people—they need it the most.”—Unknown

“What we all have in common is an appreciation of kindness and compassion; all the religions have this. We all lean towards love.”—Richard Gere

“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Be a little kinder than you have to.”—E. Lockhart

“But remember, boy, that a kind act can sometimes be as powerful as a sword.”—Rick Riordan

“A random act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a tremendous impact on someone else’s life.”—Roy T. Bennett

“Kindness means building bridges instead of walls.”—RAKtivist

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.”—Amelia Earhart

“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”—Wayne Dyer

“It’s a little embarrassing that after 45 years of research and study, the best advice I can give people is to be a little kinder to each other.”—Aldous Huxley

“The first thing a kindness deserves is acceptance, the second, transmission.”—George MacDonald

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”—Og Mandino

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”—Scott Adams

“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”—R. J. Palacio

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.”—Kahlil Gibran

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”—Wendy Mass

“A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.”—John Ruskin

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had more of a tendency to look for people who live by kindness, tolerance, compassion, a gentler way of looking at things.”—Martin Scorsese

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”—Steve Maraboli

“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.”—James Boswell

“Kindness is not a business. True kindness expects nothing in return and should never act with conditions.”—Roy T. Bennett

“Kindness is showing someone they matter.”—Unknown

“Kindness has a beautiful way of reaching down into a weary heart and making it shine like the rising sun.”—Unknown

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”—Unknown

“Always find opportunities to make someone smile, and to offer random acts of kindness in everyday life.”—Roy T. Bennett

“You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force.”—Publilius Syrus

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”—Princess Diana

“Love and kindness go hand in hand.”—Marian Keyes

“Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary.”—J. M. Barrie

“It really shocks me when I encounter people who think kindness doesn’t matter. Because I think it’s pretty much the only thing that matters.”—Josh Radnor

“Kindness is wisdom.”—Philip James Bailey

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.”—Mother Teresa

“Gentleness and kindness will make our homes a paradise upon earth.”—C. A. Bartol

“Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.”—Leo Tolstoy

“Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.”—Blaise Pascal

“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.”—George Sand

“Kindness is free; let’s pass it on.”—Unknown

“Kindness trumps greed: it asks for sharing. Kindness trumps fear: it calls forth gratefulness and love. Kindness trumps even stupidity, for with sharing and love, one learns.”—Marc Estrin

“Kindness makes a fellow feel good whether it’s being done to him or by him.”—Frank A. Clark

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”—The 14th Dalai Lama

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”—Henry James


“Goodness consists not in the outward things we do, but in the inward thing we are.”—Edwin H. Chapin

“You feel the fragrance of goodness not only in the mere physical presence of a person, but also in the words he uses and the acts he performs. It all leaves you more perfumed.”―Rabb Jyot

“Use your voice for good in this world. There are many who tear down, but it’s those who build up that truly touch hearts and transform lives.”―Heather Wolf

“No beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart.”—Unknown

“Good people see the good and bring out the best in other people.”―Roy T. Bennett

“No man or woman can be strong, gentle, pure, and good, without the world being better for it and without someone being helped and comforted by the very existence of that goodness.”—Phillips Brooks

“While I crawl upon this planet I think myself obliged to do what good I can, in my narrow domestic spheres, to my fellow creatures, and to wish them all the good I cannot do.”—Lord Chesterfield

“We ought to do good to others as simply and as naturally as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.”—Marcus Aurelius

“Doing good for others is not a duty. It is a joy, for it increases your own health and happiness.”—Zoroaster

“There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.”—C. S. Lewis

“I think the biggest lie the devil ever told was that beauty and goodness are the same.”―Daniel Nayeri

“When someone has been mean to you, why would you want to be good to them? You wouldn’t want to. That’s what makes it hard. You do it anyway. Being good is hard. Much harder than being bad.”―Jeanne DuPrau

“Life becomes easier and more beautiful when we can see the good in other people.”―Roy T. Bennett

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”―William Shakespeare

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”―Leo Tolstoy

“Goodness is about character—integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.”—Dennis Prager

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
—Unknown (though often attributed to John Wesley)

“By contemplating God, who became a child, radiating light from the humility of the crib, we can also become witnesses to humanity, tenderness and goodness.”—Pope Francis

“Goodness is uneventful. It does not flash, it glows.”—Ray Stannard Baker

“It’s never a bad time to do a good deed.”—Matshona Dhliwayo

“I’m coming to believe more and more in the truth that everything we do has consequences. A good deed doesn’t just evaporate and disappear.”—Desmond Tutu

“In goodness there are all kinds of wisdom.”—Euripides

“Goodness is better than beauty.”—Vietnamese proverb

“Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.”—Unknown

“Simple, genuine goodness is the best capital to found the business of this life upon. It lasts when fame and money fail, and is the only riches we can take out of this world with us.”―Louisa May Alcott


Unless otherwise indicated, all scriptures are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Micah 6:8.

3 Zechariah 7:9.

4 Romans 2:4.

5 Exodus 33:18–19.

6 Psalm 27:13.

7 Zechariah 9:17.

8 Galatians 5:22–23.

9 RAKtivist is short for “Random Acts of Kindness activist.” It is an organization which promotes kindness.