As I look back over my life, one of the biggest things I regret is all the times I failed to practice kindness! You know those times where I was more concerned about being right and proving my point than I was about hurting someone. Those times when I retaliated and gave as good as I got when I was wronged. The times I failed to bite my tongue but instead spread slander (true slander, but slander none the less) about someone else's failures in life. The times I quarreled over things I felt strongly opinionated about. Those times I "looked the other way" so as not to see someone in need and feel compelled to help them. The times my heart was indifferent instead of moved with compassion at the stories of persecuted Christians, suffering immigrants, bullying, racism, wrecked and ruined lives etc. The times I excused myself from reaching out to someone because I was "too busy" or it would inconvenience me. The times I failed to care because it was draining and hurt too much. The times I was selfish with my resources when I knew I should give to a ministry or person in need. I could go on, but you get the picture.
In 2 Timothy 2:24 it says to "be kind to everyone"--- not just the people in your group, the ones you click with, the family you like, or the ones who fit your mold --- but everyone!!! (The ones with different beliefs and opinions, the ones in the opposite political party as you, the ones that rub you the wrong way and get under your skin, and even the ones who've hurt you.) It's a tall order and it takes a lot of effort to bite your tongue, turn the other cheek, return good for evil, and reach out with compassion; but the One who commanded these things promises to help us if we ask!
Mahatma Gandhi has been quoted as saying "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." That should give us pause and cause us to consider that since it's the love of Christ that draws us to Him, then maybe that same love and kindness (worked out through your life and mine) will cause our friends, family, and acquaintances to want to know the Savior we claim to serve. I don't want to alienate people from the Gospel by my words and actions, so I'm praying that God will help me to BE KIND --- ALWAYS!!
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