By Amber Allworth
It’s a super simple sentence. In fact it just might be one you frequently heard repeated in your childhood from your mother as you interacted with siblings or friends. Be kind. It’s a simple sentence, with a challenging concept.
As you interact with the world around you, kindness doesn’t always seem to abound. Especially in these days of incredible political polarization and sadness regarding the brokenness much of the country is seeing with racial tensions and prejudice. It seems easier to be harsh and reactionary than the effort required for kindness.
Why is kindness a principle quickly taught to children, but more quickly forgotten in adulthood? I don’t see lots of kindness in my social media feed, UNLESS someone has an opinion I share.
In the work by C.S.Lewis, The Weight of Glory, he says this powerful quote:
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does
not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”
If then we are NEVER interacting with a mere mortal, but with someone of great value, how then do we interact? How then should I be kind?
When I approach people, I have to interact with them how I would want to be interacted. If someone has a different opinion than I, it would appreciate it if they took the time to understand me, to ask me questions about how I arrived at that decision. NOT to try to change my mind, but to understand my heart. They don’t have to agree with me, but I would hope they could be respectful.
I may not agree with those in power over me. In fact, I don’t agree with quite a few. That’s fine. My responsibility to be kind in my manner of speaking about them, and in the mandate to pray for them remains.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”Ephesians 4:32
That last line is the one that gets me… just as Christ has been kind to me, I’m to be kind to others.
This impacts the way I treat the employee that brings my grocery order to the car at Fred Meyers.
This impacts the way I treat the customer service operator that answers the call when my utility bill is wrong and I’ve been over charged.
This impacts the way I interact with my distant relative who just shared a social media post that goes against so many things I believe. I can choose to be kind.
This impacts the way I speak to those in my house…no we don’t get a free pass to speak however we want in our homes. We’re called to be kind to our family too.
So, how kind are you being these days? Perhaps you need a reminder today, to please be kind!
Amber’s official title is Executive Assistant to our Lead Pastor, but that doesn’t stop her from helping anyone and everyone in sight! Amber is an administrative wizard with a heart of gold. She’s also a wife, a dog mom, a cat mom, an Ennegram 2 (in other words, everybody’s mom), and most recently, a life coach! Find out more about Amber and her new endeavors at Allworth It Coaching