The Disappearing Art of Kindness
By Carla Moore
We see and hear it everywhere ...rude gestures as someone cuts you off in traffic, the news, talk (shout) shows, and don't even get me started on social media. Why is everyone so quick with an unkind word or post? It seems most of the culture has forgotten what our mothers taught us - if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. I am sometimes overwhelmed with the amount of unkind words invading my life. Then, I pause to think, have my words and actions been kind today?
After all, as a Christ-follower, I should be striving to be more Christ-like in all areas of life. In Galatians 5:25, Paul says,
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.This is just after the fruit of the Spirit has been listed: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. There is a lot to work with there, but today, I want to focus on kindness.
I want to be clear that our actions do not have an effect on how much Jesus loves us. His love is unconditional and if we accept the free gift of His grace, nothing changes that. However, when we accept that gift, our heart should be turned to want to do things that are pleasing to Him. I believe exhibiting kindness is pleasing to Christ; therefore, I want to share kindness not so Jesus will love me more, but because I love Jesus.
The smallest act of kindness can have a huge impact. When my dad was in the hospital and skilled nursing, I decided to make a point of sharing kindness - thanking a nurse, complimenting someone on their jacket, or holding doors for people. Something so simple, with no cost other than a few minutes of my time, put smiles on peoples' faces, and I found that I felt tremendously better during a very stressful season of life. With the scarcity of kindness in our current culture, being kind could definitely spark someone to ask what is different about you and even open a Gospel conversation! So take on the challenge - look for an opportunity to share kindness; start with your family and work your way out to the world around you. Let's start an epidemic of kindness!