1 Corinthians 13:4a Love is patient, love is kind.
Have you ever thought about how wonderful kindness is? There is really nothing like it. Unfortunately, we are not accustomed to encountering kindness or to being kind ourselves. Think of all the times we encounter crabby, curt people. Think of all the times when we are the crabby, curt people!
Being kind is such a wonderful weapon in our arsenal. People don’t expect it. It disarms them and leaves a wonderful aroma in its wake. It’s particularly powerful when experienced in our families, close friendships and with our co-workers.
The reality is that we can be the most unkind to the people we are closest to; parents to kids; kids to parents; spouses to each other; siblings to each other. We don’t mean to be, it just works out that way. Some of the worst difficulties families encounter are the best opportunities for kindness to do its wonderful work.
Instead of taking offense at a spouse’s crabbiness, respond with kindness. It’s so disarming. Instead of reacting to your child’s rebellion with anger, learn the power of kindness rooted in righteousness. We can communicate the standards God requires of us while still being kind to our sons or daughters and their friends. Kindness isn’t defense – it’s offense. It isn’t expected and can have such a powerful impact.
I was re-reading an email from one of my sons in which he recounted incidents years earlier where Donna and I had profoundly impacted him by such simple things as taking groceries to him when he was in college. I took McDonald’s to him and his friends at 6 AM when they camped out overnight for concert tickets. I guess they were stunned. His friends were welcome in our home. He said they loved me because I was polite and nice to them.
Kindness brings results, but those are in God’s hands. People don’t always respond the way we would like, even when we are kind. (We still remain kind in spite of how they act.) But our confidence is in our Lord. We don’t know the hidden impact our kindness is having. We simply get to experience the joy of being kind and knowing that we are expressing God’s love to those around us.