"And be ye kind one to another... Ephesians 4:32"
LISTEN TO: Glen Campbell, "Try a Little Kindness"
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 "
As part of our 2019 resolution to become more Christ-like, we continue our walk through Paul's inspired passage on love. Paul breaks down for us what Love does, just as Jesus models for us in his actions and teachings how love acts and reacts in the world.
Today Paul tells us that Love is Kind. Kindness is also considered a fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:22). So kindness is a virtue that must be put into practice and deliberately tended to in order for it to mature in us.
There is some folklore that kindness is the lost 11th of the 10 commandments: "Thou shall be merciful and kind to all creatures that roam the fruits of thy land." To be kind is to treat others with care, consideration and compassion. The root of the word suggests to "serve usefully." "Loving -kindness" is a word used about 30 times in the Old Testament, exclusively for God. God takes the initiative to help his people, to save them, forgive them, lead them, care for them. Loving-kindness speaks of the fundamental nature of God, revealed to us in Jesus. Jesus has compassion on the crowds, and feeds them. Jesus reaches out to tax collectors and sinners. He heals, calms the storms; Jesus teaches us in parables to be kind, like the "Good Samaritan, the Good Shepherd, or the Workers in the Vineyard, what kindness looks like. Kindness is a key active ingredient in love.
The great thing about kindness is that we can start easy. Kindness is within our reach. As we act kindly, we not only make someone else feel good, our hearts are transformed as well; we become changed into the mindset of Christ. A Jewish saying would suggest:: "The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of loving-kindness."
Practice kindness daily. Here is a list of kind deeds. Everyday pick one. Or let it inspire you to something similar. The important thing is to go out of our way to be kind. See what a difference it makes!!
Buy or prepare a meal for a homeless person.* smile :. )* call someone to tell her/him that you love her/him.* write a handwritten note. *knit a beanie or blanket for a homeless person.* put change in the washer/dryer for the next person.* fill an expired or about to expire parking meter.* buy a little extra grocery for the local food pantry.* pay the toll for the person behind you.* instead of just thinking it, compliment someone. *ask someone “how are you?” mean it. and listen.* make some baked goods for your neighbor(s).* hug your loved ones for no particular reason. *make breakfast for your partner or housemate.* call someone you haven’t talked to in a while.* give someone a flower …or a dozen.* offer someone else your seat on the bus/train.* visit a senior center or nursing home.* pick up trash.* donate one of your favorite possessions.* give someone a fruit basket.* volunteer for a charity.* build a home with Habitat for Humanity.* pay for the person behind you at the drive-thru.* pick up the tab for a random table at a restaurant.* put $10 on a random gas pump.* buy flowers for the cashier at the grocery store.* buy an extra umbrella on a rainy day.* give your waiter or waitress a huge tip.* don’t lose any opportunity to say: i love you. *leave a funny or kind note in an unexpected place.* read to a child. *rake (or shovel a path) someone’s yard.* be a courteous driver.* hold the elevator. *practice patience.* refrain from gossiping; speak well of others. *act as if the glass were half full.* let someone get ahead of you in line.* listen intently. *babysit for a single parent.* be bold in your appreciation of life around you. *compliment a stranger sincerely.* run an errand for someone.* donate your professional services. *invite someone who is alone over for dinner.* write a letter of appreciation.* donate blood.* make time. *speak gently.* laugh heartily.* share your last bit.* one time, stop everything to help someone else...
PRAY: "God of Loving-kindness , nudge me throughout this day to be kind."