Kindness: The good, the bad, and the ugly
The word just sounds nice.
So why is it so hard?
I have a theory. Pride.
In my own experience (you could read: what I often do . . .)
- Kindness is given to those we pity (as if somehow we are better than that person in need.)
- Kindness is given to those we think deserve it (because that person who just acted like a jerk certainly doesn’t deserve it!)
- Kindness is given when I feel guilty (to get me off the hook.)
- Kindness is given when I think martyrdom is in order (so my act of kindness becomes a purple heart for me.)
If, for just a day, I could set aside my pride (which, for our purposes here is defined as a focus on “I” – the middle letter of pride), I wonder if I would display kindness from different motives.
Motives such as:
- others are worthy of acts of kindness;
- that “jerk” really does need a soft touch;
- realizing the only thing that relieves me of guilt is God’s forgiveness, not my good deeds; and
- extending kindness out of focus on another person, not me.
Sounds like a great idea. But then, as we face life, we know there will always be the one to whom it is V-E-R-Y hard to show kindness, the day when we ourselves need some kindness and it’s soooo hard to give it, and times when we just don’t see the need.
We will fail, at times, to be as kind as we should. However, in order for God to continue to produce a kind spirit in us, we do have to humble ourselves. We need to act whether we feel like it or not. And we need to realize that our kindness can be the hands and heart of our God.
Kindness. That word does sound nice.