Love Within Limits: A Realist’s View of 1 Corinthians 13

Smedes, Lewis B.

Eerdmans, 1978

p. 15

“It takes power to be kind because kindness is risky.  First, to move toward another person in kindness is to risk misunderstanding.  If you are kind to a person, your action may be seen as a veiled seduction.  If you are kind to a person of another race, you may be suspected of being patronizing or subservient.  If you are kind to a stranger, you may be rebuffed.  Second, after you show kindness to a person, he may take advantage of you.  He may become a parasite, getting a grip on your tender impulses and systematically exploiting them.  Third, you may in your amateurish kindness do things so awkwardly that you end up making a fool of yourself.  No one likes to look stupid, perhaps least of all when doing an act of kindness.”