By The Spirit - KINDNESS
Guys. Yas. It’s the weekend! The perfect day to look at KINDNESS.
The world today seems more unkind than ever, aye? Whatever news station you watch, the vitriol is piercing, the comments harsh, the language… unkind. It’s almost as if there is a contest to see who can be the most mean. Most rude. On social media, the ability to share our opinion has never been more available to us. Opinions are shared so often that the abbreviation IMO (In My Opinion) was one of the most used in 2018. A lot of the opinions could use the class of our grandma’s generation, but alas. Kindness is missing from much of our communication in 2019.
Kindness is probably the most UNDERRATED of the fruits of the Spirit. It comes from the greek word chrēstótēs which simply means gentleness, goodness or moral integrity. It was a favorite word of Paul’s, used mostly BY Paul in his letters. At one point in Colossians 3, Paul says to “put on kindness”. The visual is like putting on a new winter coat. We are to “dress ourselves” and “wear” kindness wherever we go.
The other day I was exiting our local gym when a woman gave me a big, gracious smile. Instantly my heart was flooded with hope and happiness. Literally, one smile and my heart posture shifted. She gave me a compliment after that, joking that the work outs were working. Honestly, as a tired mom of toddlers who doesn’t shower most days this was a wonderful comment to me. I was grateful. More than that though, I was just seized by the fact that this woman decided to connect human to human. Person to person. To make eye contact, say hello, take 20 seconds from her day to notice a stranger.
And oh, friends, do we need to connect human to human more in 2019. As author and fellow young adult Pastor Tracey Wilde writes: connecting human to human in a disconnected world is our greatest challenge, and should be our greatest goal.
Chances are, that as you “wear” this fruit of the Spirit, you will change the atmospheres you enter. Scripture tells us that we “continue” in the kindness Jesus has poured out on us. In other words, he shifts something in our hearts with his kindness, and we turn around and shift the spaces we inhabit.
Today, here are a few thoughts about putting on kindness:
In check out lines make eye contact and connect with your barista or checker, talk with them, ask a question, engage.
If you have a co-worker that you just. don’t. get. - Spend extra time getting to know about their life, family.
Conduct yourselves towards others with grace and gentleness.
Model kindness to your kids.
May we shift our spheres of influence simply by wearing the Spirit every where we go.