When Last Did You Try Kindness?

The last thing one is inclined to render is kindness, especially to one or to a system that has been just the opposite: harsh, exacting and unfair. Not to mention if one has been wounded and greatly inconvenienced willfully by another. Forgiveness in the aforementioned poses a challenge for even seasoned Christians, much less for a non-professing believer of God. Is it possible to show kindness or be nice to one who attempted rape, or murdered your brother? Admittedly, I would be the first to declare that this is a bit too much! However, isn’t this response something Christ requires of His followers?
What Is Kindness?
Kindness is a favorable disposition or treatment towards another or oneself in ways undeserving or unexpected. Quite frankly, society would seem to promote vengeance. Now, while this article is not intended to interfere with justice in the manner practiced by law enforcement agencies, Christ teaches an exceptional form of human forgiveness and kindness. Observe a scriptural passage set within the context of Christ’s sermon on the mountain: “You have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:43, 44). Truth be told, it is much easier to do just the opposite of “love,” “bless,” “do good,” and “pray for” one’s enemy. One might prefer to hate, bless as in curse, do harm instead of good, and pray for one’s demise as opposed for one’s benefit. I am sure you and I can identify with this, but Christ calls for a higher and nobler form of behavior surpassing the norms of society.

Christianity Is not for the Weak of Heart
It takes more than courage to be Christ-like! It takes Christ Himself, through the medium of the Holy Spirit living within individuals, to model and display the qualities of “love,” “blessing,” “doing good,” and “praying” for people who mean you no good. Imagine if these teachings were fully embraced, we would see a significant reduction in conflicts that lead to violence and death. Imagine if we practiced more of Christ-living, we would be more caring and thoughtful.

Kindness Proclamation

From time to time, we read in the newspapers proclamations of one kind or another. How about proclaiming a kindness day, week, month, or better a kindness year? Can you imagine how that would change you and me? Can you imagine a lessening of road rage? Can you imagine no more verbal, physical or emotional abuse? Maybe I am dreaming too much or expecting too much. However, how will we put a dent into the day-to-day evils, hurts and injustices? Yes, we must uphold the law, but could we not do so in kindness and with respect for others? So, today look for someone whom you resent, and do something good for that person, even if you start by just praying for his/her wellbeing. Now, be certain to call him or her by name. I can assure you that this attitude stands to heal you, too; for it may also be necessary to be kind to oneself. Christ also taught that we must love others as we love ourselves? On the other hand, it is possible to love oneself to the exclusion of others. Frankly, that would not be true love. Should we apply kindness or more kindness in our relationships, our society would be a better place in which to live, do businesses and model Christ-like behavior. Let kindness begin today with you and me!