Kind people are the best kind of people. — Author Unknown
Kindness is the act or the state of being kind, being marked by good and charitable behavior, pleasant disposition, and concern for others. It is known as a virtue, and recognized as a value in many cultures and religions. Research has shown that acts of kindness not only benefits receivers of the kind act, but also the giver, as a result of the release of neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of contentment and relaxation when such acts are committed. [definitions.net]
Early on in ministry, I learned that just because someone goes to church and professes to know Christ it doesn’t make them kind. There are those who want to teach you what they think you are lacking. You know, the “How to” of Christendom. Maybe it was “how to” spank your child or “how to” be a better wife or “how to” practice better finances.
One memory still so vivid in my mind goes as follows:
New to this particular ministry and town, an older lady invited me out for lunch and some shopping. I was thrilled to connect with someone in the church. She drove into the driveway and came to the door. As I met her at the door and walked to the car with her, my dear husband calls out for me to not spend all our money! My high hopes of connecting with a woman in the church and developing a friendship came crashing down. While my dear, dear, sweet and sarcastic husband’s comment was a huge joke on many levels, this woman did not know that.
So, this older woman (from the church) took it upon herself to educate this younger woman “how to” not cause your husband to go in debt. No matter how much I tried to tell her he was joking, she couldn’t seem to hear. I really cannot remember any more of the outing except that I came home empty-handed, even from acquiring a new friendship.
However, I have learned “how to” not jump to conclusions about others. Getting to know someone, letting them do the talking and I do the listening helps me to not draw conclusions prematurely. There’s the poignant truth that you have to be their friend before you can be their teacher!
Kindness. It produces a wealth of health and yields blooms instead of thorns whether it be in a marriage relationship or in a friendship. The Bible says, Love is KIND – 1 Corinthians 13:4. Kindness is a fruit produced by the Holy Spirit at work in us. It really does take work, sometimes arduous, but in the end it is so worth it. Just ask my husband!
Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. ~Henry James