Kindness, I don't know of anything that touches my soul deeper than a true kindness. It still marvels me when someone chooses to be kind to me. I'm sure sometimes I don't notice. I'm sure sometimes I'm too busy to see. But still, kindness is a gift beyond words to me.
Sometimes kindness isn't what we think. It's not always kind to give people what they are demanding. Is it ever a kindness to give in to a demand?... sometimes. I'm thinking of a desperate father demanding aid for his mortally wounded son... sure sometimes kindness looks past the delivery of a request to the need behind it. But sometimes I feel strangled when people feel entitled to my kindness... I think that is when I'm the farthest away from a kind response... hmmm. But sometimes kindness can only say, "No." Sometimes it is a great kindness to leave people in the hands of a loving God and get out of the way.
I want to be kind. I want to think kindly. I want to walk in love... and Jesus says, "Love is kind". Kindness isn't easy... somehow it has to be wise. Some attempts at kindness can turn out to be cruel at best. Yesterday I watched as a man tried desperately to be kind to a disabled man who was not in need of his actions. The end result only made the disabled man feel more awkward and... well disabled... sad...
I'm thinking that kindness is not as easy as it might seem. It takes intentionality. It takes watching, learning, listening and feeling. Somehow one becomes kind, you aren't really born that way. Perhaps we can't truly be kind without guidance. 1 Corinthians 13 gives a list of the attributes of love, one being kindness.
" Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. It is not rude. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not
easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people's wrongs.
Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up."
I think that 1 Corinthians 13 isn't a list of how we are to behave but a list of attributes we will pick up as we listen to the LORD and walk in that listening. God help me to be kind.