Be Kind and Compassionate
A few weeks ago I was reading our local paper and noticed an article with COVID-19 information. Toward the end of the story there was a quote from the mayor reminding people to be kind, compassionate, and sensitive with their comments when responding to those who had lost loved ones.
I was dumbstruck.
Since when did we need reminding to be kind and caring? When did our kindness and compassion end, and our selfishness begin?
I know the answers to both questions.
It’s because we don’t always live by the fruit of the Spirit. It’s because we let fear overtake us and forget that our actions and words speak volumes, whether we mean for them to or not.
The situation above made me cringe. It kicked me in the gut and made me give myself a stern talking to.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
Treat Others the Way You Want to be Treated
It also made me think about the advice my mother gave me as a young girl. She taught me to treat others like I wanted to be treated and if I couldn’t say something nice about people, then I shouldn’t say anything at all. Wise words to live by.
I’m not perfect and I’ve made my share of mistakes, but as a Christian I know how I should live and what Jesus expects from me.
The Bible includes many stories of how Jesus treated others with kindness. The stories show Him speaking love, joy, and healing. He touched countless lives and His words and actions give us much to live for. His Word shows us that the power of kindness can soften even the toughest people’s hearts. And Jesus himself clearly shows us how to spread kindness everywhere we go.
God’s word tells us in Matthew 7:12 NIV, ‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.’ That is the golden rule. What a glorious way to live in if we all practiced this on a daily basis.
Offer the Personal Touch
One story from Matthew 8:1-4 tells the story of the leprous man. He made his way toward Jesus, knelt before Him, and asked to be made clean. Jesus touched the man and just like that, he was clean and made new.
In these verses Jesus clearly stepped outside the boundaries of society and touched the untouchable. With one touch Jesus not only healed the man, but gave him the gift of being clean. It didn’t matter that lepers were outcasts and could not be touched. Jesus chose to restore his skin and give him a new start in life.
Through this act of love and kindness, Jesus demonstrated that we too can step outside of our lives and extend kindness to those who least expect it, to those who are hurting, and to those who think they don’t deserve it. You see, there is power in kindness and we have the ability to spread kindness everywhere we go.
I am reminded of what we’re experiencing right now with this pandemic. The loss of life continues to impact families across our communities, state, nation, and the world. In addition, job loss, financial struggles, fear, and uncertainty have put undue stress and strain on people, causing some to behave poorly. But we must not let these circumstances dictate who we really are. We are Christians and our genuine kindness and love for others should be at the top of our list.
Put Others Ahead of Yourself
So in a world where we can be anything, let’s be kind. Put aside all things rude, selfish, vindictive, unkind, and harsh. Touch the lives of those around you. live by the fruit of the Spirit, and spread kindness everywhere you go.
Treat others with the kindness and love that Jesus modeled. Do your part and make the world a community where love and joy abound, and peace and harmony are the norm.
Being kind can change the world.
- What are some of your favorite ways to shower others with kindness?
- How do you respond when people have treated you less than kind?
Dear Lord, please help us to be kind today and every day. Make our hearts tender and help us to be compassionate and quick to forgive others as Jesus has forgiven us.
I may be on the short end of some things Father, but help me to never be short on loving others, extending kindness, and giving grace. I’m thankful for your example.
In Your Name we pray. Amen.