“And be kind to one another…” Ephesians 4:32
It’s been said that variety is the spice of life but while I like to mix things up as much as the next person I don’t think that’s true. I think that kindness is the spice of life. The spiritual fruit of kindness changes everything for the better. Variety doesn’t make everything better. Sometimes variety just makes things more confusing and stressful.
So what is kindness? Kindness is the art of being pleasant, caring, and thoughtful to others. And kindness is most beautiful when it would be understandable if we were neither pleasant, nor caring, nor thoughtful. Kindness can turn so much that’s unpleasant in life into far more than bearable. Kindness can turn a visit to the dentist from a thing of dread to a thing of, while not beauty, it’s still ok. Kindness can turn the humiliation of a reprimand into a humbling, yet affirming, experience. And sometimes kindness can transform something ugly into something truly beautiful.
It’s easy to feel justified in being unkind. Harsh words spill out because someone did something wrong. Angry, superior, or judgmental looks appear because someone deserves them. And it takes effort to step out and say or do something kind, especially when it’s none of our business.
Christ is our example. He makes it his business to be kind, and he’s always treated us in ways that he hoped we would one day come to deserve. While we were still sinners Christ unloosed unsurpassable generosity and died for us. When face to face with a mob of unrighteousness judges, he showed restraint and respect and kept our hidden sins secret. When kneeling at the feet of his betrayer, he still desired to serve and offered to wash our feet with his own hands. And on the night when he knew his disciples would all run away, he still called us his friends.
Friends, it’s time that we pushed self out of the way and let the Holy Spirt do his work so we can become, like Jesus, generous in how we add the spice of kindness to our lives and others.