Ephesians 4:32a Be kind and compassionate to one another,…
A special memory from several years ago: “I am sitting in my leather recliner typing with Pappy, a small Poodle, squeezed in next to me on the seat. My left arm is resting on his back as I type. It’s funny, when I went to sit down, he was off to the side but when I sat down, he was already in the chair next to me. Pappy is Tom & Karen’s dog. They are good friends of ours and Pappy is a good friend of Snuggles, our Pekingese.”
While living in Tennessee, Donna and I so appreciated the fact that when we went out of town, Tom & Karen watched Snuggles, and when they went out of town, we got to watch Pappy. It was a twofold blessing. The blessing to us wasn’t just when our pet was being watched by them. There was an equal blessing to us when we watched their pet. We know how we feel when we’re the ones traveling. We didn’t worry about Snuggles because she was with them. Likewise, they didn’t worry about Pappy, because Pappy was with us. While it’s wonderful to save the cost of a kennel, the blessing is far more than monetary. It was a very special kindness that both couples were able to experience – and one that any owner of a pet can appreciate.
Stop and think about the wonderful blessing of ‘kindnesses’. Can you think of incidents in your life where similar types of kindnesses occur? I’m talking about where we experience an awareness of being blessed; where we want to say thank you to the one(s) extending the kindnesses to us. Kindnesses can be big or small. Sometimes the smallest things done at the right time can bring extraordinary blessing. They are like seasonings in our lives – making things ‘taste’ better.
How about where we are the ones seeing the needs of others and helping them? Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We don’t ‘do’ to ‘get’ – but He was describing something that is to become a way of life for us. It’s the wonder of being other-oriented. Today’s verse can be viewed as a command that we have to do (which it really is) or we can view it as one of God’s keys to great blessing: we get to be kind and compassionate!
An important thought to remember: kindnesses are actions – not just feelings of good will. They are things we do. It is seeing opportunities around us and responding where we are able. Remember how blessed we are when others see our need and are kind to us. Let us do likewise.