You are busy walking through the city, your head lowered as you read the latest news on your phone. You happen to look up to see a young man scurrying ahead to open the door for a woman. The woman’s arms are laden with bags while she tries to navigate the stroller holding a small child. The toddler drops her stuffed animal and the young man swoops to pick it up and tucks it in her arms. He holds the door until mother and child are safely inside, then he walks ahead of you down the street. He chose kindness.
We practice kindness when we show a tender concern towards others. Kind acts are the useful actions that meet the real needs of others.
When we show the kindness of God, we are tender and useful to others. Our actions and words are full of His grace.
Lean into kindness by showing tender concern to those you love — and those who are hard to love.
We observe children mimicking the adults around them. The little boy wants to pretend to shave like his daddy. The little girl wants to put on lipstick like her mommy. I choose to mirror God and show others kindness, just like He’s given me.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 4:31 – 5:2, RSV
I dress up for the things that are important to me. The way I dress communicates to others that this event is important. It also shows respect for the people I’m with. Just as I carefully choose what clothes I wear and what my clothes communicate, I know I also must daily choose my attitude and actions. I choose to put on kindness for all to see. I choose that my kindness is not selfish, but social and for the benefit of others.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience . . . ” Colossians 3:12, NIV