February 5. Love is Kind

Sunday, February 5, 2012

February 5. Love is Kind

One of the Greek Lexicons (BDAG) tells us that this word (chresteuomai) for kindness is only found in Christian writings. This type of kindness comes from love and mercy offered to someone else.

The phrase ‘random acts of kindness’ was coined by Anne Herbert in 1982, then ten years later, a book was published with the thought that the world could be changed if everyone did one kind thing on a daily basis.

Random Acts of Kindness are really simple, but we don’t often think of doing them and when we do, we can easily justify reasons not to do anything at all.  It’s ok to think about paying for coffee for the person behind you in the drive through lane, but what if there isn’t a car there at that moment; would you trust the cashier to not just pocket the money?  It’s hard enough to manage shoveling your own walk after a winter’s snow; why spend any more time outside when there are healthy kids next door.  They can shovel their own walk.  You’d best not give money to strangers who have a hand out, it is documented that some of these panhandlers have made this their career and probably make more money than you – it’s better to give to an organization who will manage this.  Why should I bother taking shopping carts to the storefront, they pay kids to do that.  That stranger will think I’m nuts if I tell her that her smile is beautiful – she’ll probably call the police or something.  I don’t have enough money to pay for this person’s meal … just because.  I’ll try to do it another day.

It’s so easy to talk ourselves out of doing small acts of kindness.  It can be just as easy to talk ourselves into them.

Imagine how your small act of kindness could change a day for someone.  Is it too difficult to offer a smile to a checkout clerk who has just dealt with a nasty customer?  What about simply writing a thank you note … even if it is ten years later?  What about writing a thank you note for good service you received just yesterday?  When I owned a business, it wasn’t unheard of for people to call me to complain about the service they received from one of my employees – it happened several times.  However, when I got the call to compliment the service a customer had received, it transformed the entire shop that day.  Make that call to a supervisor.

There are so many ways that we can extend kindness to each other.  It doesn’t have to be a big deal, it might only take a moment.  But, every time that we do something kind for someone else, we show love and mercy to that person.

What kind of things can you imagine doing to show kindness?