The world doesn’t feel very kind these days. As we read social media posts, we see so much anger and dissension rising up. The sad thing is, we say things online that we would never say to a person’s face. We argue about everything under the sun, and it feels at times that people have forgotten one of the basic rules we learned in kindergarten, to be kind to one another.
In a recent Choose Chat, Laura Pedersen and I discussed how we can make kindness a choice. We can choose to be the hands and feet of Christ by sharing the kindness that Christ modeled for us. Kindness is love in action, and we are called above all else to love.
Yet how do we make that choice come to life? How can we truly be kind in our every day, hectic, jam-packed lives? It’s one thing to say we are going to choose kindness, but how do we practically live that choice out?
I’ve been wrestling with that for a couple of days now. When I read these words in Proverbs, I felt very convicted:
Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.
Proverbs 11:17 (NLT)
Isn’t that the truth! When we are cruel to others, when we don’t show kindness, we are the ones who truly suffer. When I leave a situation where I haven’t been kind, I always feel horrible. I go over and over it in my mind and think of what I should have said. I always wish with all my might I could take my words or actions back, but that’s impossible to do. Then I’m left with the regret that comes from not choosing kindness.
What if we could focus and be intentional about doing our very best to model the kindness Jesus displayed. Our world would look radically different if we did! And the verse above tells us we will be rewarded when we do. We all know, life simply goes better when we are kind.
Kindness draws others toward us. Kindness changes people’s hearts. Kindness heals broken relationships. Kindness makes people feel loved and respected.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
So the next time someone lashes out on social media, the next time the store clerk is rude, the next time a loved one says something cruel, try choosing kindness. Instead of lashing out in return, maybe you can stay silent or choose to say something positive instead of being drawn into the negative. Sometimes a little kindness can totally diffuse a situation.
As I write these words, I also feel a gentle reminder in my spirit to intentionally reach out to people in my life who have been kind to me and have offered encouragement along the way. I’ve been “too busy” lately to make time for those quiet acts of kindness. Things like a quick text that says I am thinking about them. Or leaving an encouraging message on their Facebook page. Or maybe it’s setting aside time for coffee and giving them one of the kindest gifts we can give to others, our time.
I am always touched deeply when I receive a random act of kindness, and it’s time for me to start returning the favor!
Will you join me this week in choosing kindness?
Women of Faith is a global ministry, providing digital media, resources and events to encourage and equip women to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus.