Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Mid-Week Message - Be Kind

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT)

In the area in which I live, the women have formed a Facebook page.  Here they share pictures or family events, ask for recommendations, seek information about road accidents or crimes and talk about good or bad experiences with businesses in the area.  Recently, as I was looking through the postings, I saw a story from a lady about a disappointing experience at a local restaurant.  From what she shared, it was easy for me to sympathize with how she felt about what had happened and I would have assumed that she would have had a lot of support from the many members that responded.  However, I was wrong. 

I'm not sure what it is within us that leads us to feel that we need to give advice or viewpoints that are unnecessary.  As I read through the replies I was horrified by the criticisms expressed, not of what had occurred at the restaurant, but of this poor lady's feelings.  For some reason, some of these city sisters had felt it their duty to inform her that she was wrong for expressing how this incident had affected her.

As I write this I am remembering innumerable times that I have witnessed or experienced hurt feelings because of how people treat one another.  Rather than seeking to understand or just support each other, we assume that our own viewpoint is the correct one and therefore we must make it known with no regard for the repercussions.  Yes, we need to stand for biblical truth but we must first examine our own motives then be compassionate and kind in how we respond.  Too many times we share without taking time to make sure that what we say or do is Christ-like in nature, or even in line with what scripture would teach.  

Kindness is lacking in this world today.  As everyone strives to "look out for number one" those around us fall by the wayside with lasting wounds left by the barbs of our words and actions.  Harshness and violence fill the news each day because mankind is losing respect for the sanctity of life.  Beliefs and viewpoints clash and love and compassion are absent.  

As Christians, we need to be the first to exercise the golden rule.  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" should be in our minds at all times, not just times of conflict. The Lord has given us wise guidance in how to handle our interactions with others.  We need to love and support one another and be the calming influence in a society that has forgotten what it is like to care for our fellow human beings.  

Each day brings countless opportunities for kindness.  Whether in person or online, let's be the ones to exhibit attitudes of understanding and compassion.  I'm not asking anyone to deny their beliefs.  I don't want to do that either.  All I ask is that we take the time to pray over what we say and do and how we react before we hurt anyone.  From the bottom of my heart, I wish you a blessed week.

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