“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Sometimes I’m really not a kind person. I know, it’s shocking-isn’t it?
But it’s true.
Sometimes I am just-not-nice. Those are usually the times I feel the most un-beautiful.
Is it just me, or is it a common phenomenon to lash out when you feel the most insecure? I will wake up in a good mood, go through a normal, non-eventful day, and then end it in a total rampage because “I feel fat”. Or “not pretty”. Or “so ugly people are standing away with a 20 foot pole”. (And if they are staying away, I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to be around myself in a bad mood either.)
Oh, such a hard thing to do when you feel like there is no point in being kind! After all, why be kind when the lady in front of you at the store totally just cut in front of you? And she knew what she was doing! Why be kind when the people in your classes just plain annoy you? Why be kind when your friends ignore you? Why be kind when THEY are not being kind?
Well, because it’s nice.
The perfect opportunity to be kind is when everyone around you is being ugly. It’s not easy, I know. Sometimes it’s all I can do to keep myself from saying some very ugly things to some very rude store clerks.
But I keep my mouth shut. It’s what Christ would do.
When you struggle with kindness, look to the ultimate example of what it means to take adversity without a mean word: Christ. Isaiah 53 says, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”
Christ did the kind thing. He didn’t lash out, call all the men bad names, and chase them down with his big giant stick. He kept silent, took their insults… and prayed for them. Actually, His exact words were, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
I’ll be humbly honest with you: I don’t pray for my enemies. I didn’t pray for the annoying (I mean blessed) man who should not have a license to drive yesterday. I didn’t pray for all those means girls that I have encountered through the years of school. I didn’t pray for any of the “mean people” in my life.
And to take it a step further, I wasn’t very kind to them either.
Today is, as a famous movie store says, “Be Kind, Rewind” day. I may not be able to go back and find all those people I was just a little unkind to, but I can start over by being kind today. Is it easy? Not especially. Is it hard to be kind when you feel like you have “the right” to act mean? Yes.
But look at our example.
He was kind for us… maybe we should be the same.