Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Eph 4:32
Love is patient and kind… 1 Cor 13:4
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Prov 31:26
What Is Kindness? It’s favor, mercy, loving-kindness, forgiveness, goodness and love.
When I was in fourth grade, my 7 yr old brother, Timmy, and I were riding to school on a bicycle. I was pedaling and steering and he was riding in front of me on the male bar. After awhile, he asked if he could steer and I let him. Shortly thereafter we hit a very large rock and crashed. It was a dirt road and neither of us got hurt– just got our clothes a little dirty. So, we got up and dusted ourselves off to continue our journey. But Timmy was scared, thinking I would be mad, and he’d be in trouble, so he apologized and I comforted him with something like, “Oh, it’s alright. Don’t worry about it. Accidents happen. You didn’t do it on purpose.” And we went on to school.
A couple of years ago Tim shared that story with me. I could barely remember the incident when he first brought it up, but he said it was still very clear in his mind because he expected anger and recieved kindness instead. He said he wanted to share it with me because it was one of the fondest memories of his life. And then he added the belated confession, “Oh, by the way, just to set the record straight. I steered into that rock on purpose– just to see what would happen!”
I just happened on this quote: Lol!
Have you ever been there? Can you remember a time when you desperately needed kindness? When you needed somebody to be there for you in a supportive way? I do.
I was in eighth grade at Central Junior High School in Belleville, Illinois. Our substitute teacher, Miss Lil, had stepped out of the room and soon paper wads began to fly. Several kids were shooting them all over the room with rubber bands. It wasn’t something I was into but I finally decided to shoot one across the room at a friend of mine. As it happened, I missed and hit a “non-friend” just as the teacher walked back into the room and that student told on me. I was so shocked I dropped the rubber band in the floor as the teacher headed my way with discipline on her mind. She was in no mood for mercy, favor or loving-kindness. I’d never had a swatting at school so I was scared, but just as she ordered me to the principal’s office for a swatting, my friend, Teresa Reister, stood and said, “I was doing it too.” Wow! She put herself on the line for me. I was overwhelmed by her kindness! And then several more students stood and made the same confession so we were all sent to the principal’s office and received only a lecture because we were so many. I escaped the paddle and I’ve never forgotten Teresa’s heroic intervention. How kind of her! And, I have to believe that was a God-inspired action on her part so I give God the glory!
I’ve been in “scary” situations several times and the kindness born of God’s gracious love that flows through His people always catches me by surprise. It’s like a gift that takes my breath away and produces profound gratitude! Of course, there’s no greater gift of grace than the blood of Jesus that has covered our transgressions and provided eternal salvation for those who trust in Him. And there’s nothing I’m more grateful for!
Be kind to one another, the scripture says. We all have an opportunity to follow that admonition. In word and in deed we can encourage, support, forgive and bless one another out of the sheer kindness of love. And really, it’s the least we can do considering all that Jesus has done for us.