Monday, December 23, 2013

Kindness Can Change Us

“The worldly man treats certain people kindly because he ‘likes’ them: the Christian, trying to treat everyone kindly, finds himself liking more and more people as he goes on – including people he could not even have imagined himself liking at the beginning.” -C.S. Lewis
What does it mean to be kind in a time of busyness, a time of stress?  Some of the descriptions of the word “kind” used in the dictionary are gentle, thoughtful, compassionate and generous. What would you add to that list?
Kind is the opposite of “harsh, hard, sharp and bitter” and is synonymous with being gracious, pleasant and good according to Strong’s concordance.
What does it take to bring kindness into the lives of others? Especially when we are hurting, or lonely or just weary?
Too often the brokenness in life has an incredible way of bringing out the worst in us. But haven’t we all also had an opportunity to see it bring out the best of us- unexpected but true. Occasionally in the midst of tragedy, pain and loss we see the greatest acts of kindness.
What have you observed in the last few months? I’ve seen others give just because there is a need with no expectation of repayment. And others serve because they are able and someone else just can’t quite get it done. The need is there and we have the opportunity to help, to share joy, to lighten the load a little for someone else. Just a random act of kindness right? Lives are changed and we are changed because we choose to participate in practicing kindness.
Our nation just grieved again the one year anniversary of the Newtown tragedy. Last year after covering the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, NBC News’ Ann Curry wondered what could be done to ease the national suffering over the loss of 26 children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary. Why not, she tweeted, commit to doing one act of kindness for every child and teacher whose lives were tragically taken?
In Texas a group of 8 and 9 year olds heard about the grace-filled idea and ran with it. By the end of the week they had completed over 100 “random acts of kindness” for other teachers, students, parents, siblings and others…
  A hug
  A smile
  Meeting someone new at recess and play together
  Saying “thank you”
  Picking up some trash

Sounds a lot like “overcoming evil with good” Romans 12:21 ESV doesn’t it?
During this time of your life, no matter what is happening are you practicing giving the gift of kindness? Why don’t you try today to be kind to one person who is close to you and to one person you don’t know at all? Who knows what change that might bring to your life or to another person’s life? I can guarantee that you will feel better because you blessed someone else with your kindheartedness.
“The greatest feats of love are performed by those who have had much practice in performing daily acts of kindness.” -Anonymous