A Raw Cup of Kindness {Day 1}

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Day 1 {Be Kind}

You see them all the time.  Cute photos that tell us boldly and imperatively to “Be Kind” because there are so many people we might come across who are “fighting a battle we know nothing about”.

Now don’t mistake my quotation marks for sarcasm.  I think they’re great reminders, really I do.  But what happens when your laptop/smartphone/iPad/PC (*delete as applicable) is switched off and you go shopping and the ridiculously grumpy sour faced cashier chucks your stuff past the scanner and doesn’t look at you when they tell you how much you have spent?  Or when you’re sitting at work and you get a phone call from a client who pretty much rips your head off over something you knew nothing about?  Or when you’re pushing the pushchair quietly up the street and someone tuts and rolls their eyes and makes a comment about young mothers today because you didn’t roll your pushchair into the road so that you could give them the entire pavement?

Do we quietly seethe with narrowed eyes and think “aha, you’ll get yours one day”?

Or does the sparkly picture reminding us to Be Kind (that one we liked earlier on Facebook) flood our hearts and minds so that we are so overcome we instantly do something super nice in return for the ear-bashing/eye-rolling that we were just on the receiving end of?

The Bible is pretty clear about how we should treat others.  It does tell us to be kind:

eph 4 32

And it’s surely true.  There are people daily fighting battles of abuse, illness, depression, loneliness, emptiness, despair…the list goes on and on.  And it’s fair to say that in our humanity, how we express these turbulences in our lives doesn’t always do ourselves, or anyone else, any favours.

However, the difference between these little photos that circulate the Internet daily, and the Bible is this.  If we think to ourselves that we should be kind in case someone is fighting a battle, then we are placing them in a position of meriting our kindness.

What happens if we find they are not fighting some insurmountable battle?  Does our kindness then stop?  Does our compassion instantly run out?  These Internet circulars would have you think so.

But the Bible has a different position.  It doesn’t tell us to be kind to people in case they deserve kindness.  It just tells us to be kind.  To be tender-hearted.

And NOT because someone might be more deserving of our kindness if only we knew their circumstances.  We are to be kind and tender-hearted in a way that looks beyond the flaws of others.  We are to extend kindness, compassion and forgiveness whether people deserve it or not.

Because, let’s face it, who are we to decide what constitutes a battle in someone else’s life?

When we stop looking at deservedness as the prompt for our actions, and remember instead what Christ has forgiven in us, then the motivation for our kindness is grown from a different tree.  Not one that judges the actions or deeds of someone else so that we may bestow on them our kindness, but rather, one that is grown out of thankfulness for what the Lord has done for us.

Be kind today to the people you meet.  Yes, they may be miserable and grumpy and fighting a battle you know nothing about.  But let your kindness be borne out of gratitude for the cross – when God looked on us, while we were still sinners, and loved us anyway.

Grace and Love

Helen x

 

Comments

  1. Joyce reid says:

    Really thought provoking. Be kind to all persons without criteria.

    Like

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