Do you know what the world is really lacking right now? Well, its lacking a lot of things, but today I’m thinking of kindness. Plain, simple, every day kindness. I just don’t see a lot of it around right now. What I do see is many people feeling emboldened to indulge their shadow natures full on. There is a lot of meanness and hatefulness that seems to be what we are seeing and having to endure.
Plain ordinary kindness just seems to be in short supply. Our society is getting meaner, it tolerates meanness on a huge scale right now. We see evidence of how that is playing out in the social realm. People letting their baser feelings fly in every circumstance. When something is said that grates against their sensibilities, there is an immediate backlash of vitriolic words, sometimes even accompanied by actions. We let the simplest and most innocuous things set us off. We find those who think, speak and are different from us offensive in some way. We seem to have lost the ability to be accommodating to those whose differences may warrant a need. We allow differences to separate us and keep us from engaging and learning from one another. We find our political views have become our rallying cries, and anything that stands in opposition as an enemy to be vanquished.
How did we get here? What has led us down a path of division, scorn, anger, even violence against those we disagree with? What forces, or nature within us has said its okay to act out with such anti-Christlike behavior?
We are called to be children of the Light. We are called to be better than the world around us, improving the world with our presence, helping to bring heaven here on earth. Sometimes, I think we forget we are spirit. We have, of course living bodies, but they are temporal and time-stamped. They live and die. But inside each of us is a spirit that has no beginning and no end. That spirit is God. How can we allow ourselves to deny the spirit’s urgings in us. The spirit will always urge us toward kindness, it is in us. When we disallow it, when we subvert it, when we cast it aside, we are doing a great harm to our spirit. Our spirit will seek to be kind, because our spirit is full on love.
The Apostle Paul writes of kindness in several of his letters. In Ephesians 4:32 we read, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Be kind. How do we do that? We do it through the forgiveness we are encouraged to give to others who we feel have done or said something we dislike or disagree with. In Galatians 5:22 Paul enumerates the fruits of the spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,.” There it is for all to see, what the spirit is made up of. Kindness is right there along with all the other attributes. Why would Paul put it in there? Because Paul knew kindness is what will allow ALL people to peacefully co-exist even in the midst of their differences. Kindness leads persons to see others as an image of God, whether they believe it themselves or not. Kindness says, God is in this person who I have issues with. If God is in them, then I must find a way to exhibit the same kindness God has shown me, especially when I am so different from God. Finally, probably one of my favorite passages in the Bible from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, “4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Paul is explaining the different attributes of love, what it is and what it is not. Love is patient; love is kind. Interesting what he starts out telling us about love, patient and kind.
That’s what’s really lacking in today’s world, patience and kindness toward others. We are not taking the time to try and understand through another’s experience, through another’s pain, through another’s hurt and anguish, through another’s circumstance. That understanding can only be achieved through patience and kindness to consider another’s situation.
I read this quote recently from Scott Stabile, it made me stop and wonder how we could change the world if we ascribed to such a notion.“I look around and see so much fear, people getting more and more comfortable with their hate, more at ease being mean, more united in their separation. And I think, NO. Not me. I will not get lost in this fearful world. I will not play with bullies. I will continue to be brave and kind. I will speak for real unity. And no matter what, I will never stop loving.”
Will you join me in a kindness crusade. Whenever we see an opportunity to be kind, let’s seize it, let’s pounce on it as if it were the most precious thing we’d ever found. Let’s go into kindness overload and give all we have so that someone may see that kindness, no matter how small, has not died. Let others come to know kindness exists, and it exists in places and people they would have never dreamed. Kindness is a hallmark of being a follower of Jesus. Jesus was kind, even in the face of hate, drama, differing opinions, differing political views. Jesus was always kind. The Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and guess what, it is upon you and me too.
Blessings and Peace,