Kindness is easy when we feel like it, but when we are annoyed, frustrated, sad or angry – kindness seems like an undiscovered universe. When the bible talks about kindness, it’s not talking about being nice to our friends, because even evil is nice to those they love. The kind of kindness that comes from the Holy Spirit has supernatural power and will impacts us and the world around us more than we know. A simple smile or kind word is enough to turn someone’s day around. Intentional kindness to our husband and children have the power to spread through their world like a small pebble dropped into water.
During my preparation for this blog I stumbled across Urban dictionary’s definition of kindness. Urban dictionary usually tends to provide some very bold and culturally real/easy to understand definitions to words so, what I found was a quite awakening; here are the top three definitions:
One of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. A visible attribute of a true Christian life as found in Galatians 5:22-23.
Kindness is doing something and not expecting anything in return. Kindness is respect and helping others without waiting for someone to help one back. It implies kindness no matter what.
The act of not just being nice, but showing sympathy and understanding (plus a lot more of kind acts). True kindness is often understood through true pain.
The act of going out of your way to be nice to someone or show a person you care. Something that apparently doesn’t exist in this world anymore.
Even Urban dictionary states that kindness comes from God, that it takes a lot of work, and that kindness apparently doesn’t exist anymore. God has told us all to be Kind to one another. “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also has forgiven you” – Ephesians 4:32 “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them to your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart” Proverbs 3:3. Kindness does seem like it’s nonexistent in the world today – too many people living entitled to be treated right without treating others right. I know I fall victim to it, we all do! So, why is kindness so important? Why, as Christians, should we commit our lives to kindness?
Why be kind?
We can easily get caught up in the day to day activities of our lives and be consumed by the emotions and feelings that take hold of us as we juggle the millions of things to do. Being consumed by our day to day usually leaves no room to focus on others and their feelings/needs. The world is so full of people who are looking out for themselves and nearly void of people who look out for others. It’s human nature to look out for ourselves, it’s Holy Spirit nature to look out for others. God calls us for a life greater than ourselves, He has called us to a life that revolve around Him and to bring others to the same freedom that comes from living a life that is fully focused on God.
True Kindness is when we don’t feel like being kind, and we choose to be anyway. We have the ability to choose kindness by standing firm in thinking good of others, by putting aside our judgments, by realizing our pains and mistakes so that we can show the same grace that God has shown us. It’s a a mental pause and a focus on kindness before actions and words. I have a little thing I say in my mind to help me stay focused on kindness – “Is my body language kind, is what I’m about to say kind, be kind so my family knows how to be kind through my example.” And when I mess up, because I always will – I apologize and restate what I said in a kind way.
Kindness is something we’d say we all poses until we are asked how we act when we are upset. Definition 3 of kindness states that it is the act of going out of our way to be nice to someone. “Go out of our way” signifies that kindness takes focus, intention and purpose, it’s not something that comes natural like breathing or blinking.
To make kindness an active part of your life we have begin by making it a habit. Start out with purposeful acts of kindness like complimenting your husband for the big and little things he does, tell him how much you appreciate him. Tell your friends, colleagues, children and boss the things that you appreciate and do it over and over again. Make a plan for when you get upset, how will you be sure that your actions and words will be spoken in kindness and truth?
Apologize when you slip up, pray when it’s easy, pray when it’s hard and remove the junk we let into our minds and silence the unkind thoughts that pop into our minds by replacing them with positive ones, and go out of your way to be kind, start today, and don’t ever stop.
Kind Vs. Nice
Kindness comes from an internal motivation, from good self-esteem and isn’t in need of approval because approval comes from God and within ourselves. With less concern about what others think or do, it’s easy to carry out kindness because others actions don’t dictate our ability to give because our internal commitment to God keeps kindness flowing. The kind person also has the ability to set limits with others and doesn’t allow others to treat her poorly, she is easy going, cheerful and approachable and has an open heart.
Niceness comes from external motivation and is driven by the need for other people’s approval and validation. Being a pleaser brings about a roller coaster of emotion and in turn a roller coaster of kindness. Based on how others are acting, her emotions become controlled and she quickly relaxes her boundaries to be sure not to rock the boat. This often leads to resentment, a closed heart and an inability to be kind in any situation.
Niceness is weakness. Kindness is strength
Through my focus on kindness in my home, I’ve seen significant change in the way my girls talk with each other, my husband is pouring his gratitude into me and is constantly looking for ways to help me and serve me. In just a week I saw changes happen within the walls of my house. Imagine what months and years of kindness can do for our homes, our children and the people that surround our family.
Kindness, takes work though and a lot of it, but the rewards you’ll receive from living life kind will take hold of not only the hearts of others, but your heart as well. You’ll see yourself being less frustrated, stressed, sad or angry. You’re attitude will be lifted and remain there as you look for more opportunities to be kind. Holy Spirit be with you, Kindness warrior!