This sounds like common sense, and easy to implement. But if that's true, then why is it that I'm kindest to those I know the least, while those I love the most see the worst I have to offer? The truth is that it is easy to be kind to someone when they haven't let you down; when you don't know their shortcomings and failures; and when they don't know yours. But that isn't really love, that's just exchanging naive pleasantries. Kindness is much harder when you know how much someone doesn't deserve it and there is no reciprocal affection.
Erica and I are intimately aware of each other's faults and failures. Such knowledge can become ammo in disagreements to the detriment of our relationship. When this occurs on a regular basis, you can almost start to believe that the other person doesn't deserve kindness. But kindness is the warmth radiating from love's flame. And when the other person can't feel the warmth of our love, they'll start to believe that the flame doesn't exist. And suddenly the people we love the most are convinced that we don't love them at all.
Loving kindness involves going out of your way to show kindness to someone who doesn't deserve it. Romans 2:4 says "God's kindness leads you toward repentance." Not his punishment. Not his wrath. Not his judgement. His kindness. Romans goes on to say in chapter 5:8-10:
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
God went out of his way to show us kindness when we least deserved it by sending Jesus to die for us. He was intimately aware of our faults and failures, and we didn't do anything to become better or more deserving before he revealed his kindness in Christ. This kindness is a warm breeze emanating from God's consuming fire of love for us so that we can know without a doubt that we are loved.
Following the example of our Father, we must be willing to go out of our way to show kindness to those we love when they least deserve it. Anyone can exchange naive pleasantries with those they do not know, but in order to live by love we need to let those we are closest with feel the warmth of our affection, because love is kind.