As I was out for a run a couple of mornings ago, I passed a few people walking to work or school and we had enjoyed that awkward moment together when we're not sure whether to ignore one another or, at least, make eye contact. Do you know what I'm talking about?
In my personal life philosophy, I like to make eye contact and say good morning, because that person is a fellow human being and I want to acknowledge them. But then I also wonder if I make them uncomfortable by doing so. Life has so many delightfully squirmy moments, doesn't it?
Sometimes when I say good morning, I receive a grunt or a full greeting in response. Other times, I'm past before people have time to respond, (though not because I'm a fast runner, simply because they're taken off guard by my words)! And there are those who make no reply.
Yesterday after one such moment, the thought occurred to me:
Why not be kind?
That question addresses far more situations than greeting a stranger you meet in the street. Then, I thought to myself, Yeah, why not choose to be kind all the time? That seems like a great way to live.
I also believe it is how God calls us Christians to live, being people who are growing in the fruit of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Against such things, there is no law! We are free to pursue all of these things with abandon, because they will always be acceptable. So,
Why not be kind?
At this point you might be thinking, Well, Heather, I can think of many situations where kindness is not merited or I cannot muster kindness because of the kind of day I've had or mood I'm in. I hear you, and I'm with you. But God gives us an alternative to being driven by the cravings of our sinful nature or enslaved by our passions, which will give us myriad excuses not to be kind. What's the alternative?
First, God gives us Himself. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and rescue us from the condition of our sin. His Spirit takes us residence in our hearts when we believe that Good News. We have God as our ever-present helper.
Second, He shows us His way. From Genesis to Revelation we can read God's story of redemption, undeserved kindness, and long-suffering with His people. He also gives us guidelines for righteous and generous living.
With the Lord near at hand and His way marked out for us, we can choose to be kind, even when the world, the flesh, and the devil tell us, Why not be unkind? They deserve it!
Will I always be kind today? NO! But knowing God gives me hope of transformation, the courage to choose His way, and the joy of knowing I can share His mercy today. Why not be kind?!
We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of Go, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. 1 John 4:13-16a
Till next time, walk in His way!