Less than 24 hours has passed and I had another occasion to be reminded that kindness matters and perhaps more importantly, I need to be kinder. As a result I’m letting kindness linger with me for another day or so. It’s not so much that I’m unkind but at times, when I’m distracted, frustrated or worried, when I place too much anticipatory expectation on myself, when fearfulness seeps back into the everyday or when I’m judging the value of others, extending kindness does not come automatically. I realize that kindness is not “front and center” in my mind.
Here’s what I’ve been pondering (and this might ruffle some feathers) but it seems to me that being a kind person is not all that difficult. Even if you’re an old curmudgeon being kind doesn’t cost you anything but can make all the difference in the world for both the giver and the receiver.  Thinking about kindness, it makes sense that it is identified as a fruit of the Spirit.  Kindness is a natural action of faithfulness.
I’m starting to understand that perhaps kindness is the fruit of the Spirit because it has the power to change someone for the better. Simple and intentional acts of kindness change people. Kindness is both practical and personal. There is a quote (from an anonymous source) that goes “you will never feel badly about offering an act of kindness to a stranger, nor will you feel badly about sharing words of affirmation, neither will you ever feel badly about receiving positive, heartfelt and kind words.”
Rarely, do I know the path someone else’s is walking. I’m not privy to what is going on in their lives… they could be having a bad day or even more than just a bad day… they could be in the midst of a difficult decision or a moment of transition.  I simply don’t know what that person is going through but what I’m convinced of is that an expression of kindness has potential to alter that path for something better.

Scripture Reading: Phil 2:4-5
“Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus… ”

Reflection Questions
Who around you today is hurting and would benefit from your kindness?   Who is acting like everything is okay when you know life is not so great from them. How can you show them some kindness today?
Who in your life models kindness best?
How does kindness change lives for the better?

Prayer: Holy God, let me offer kindness to those I pass today. Let me share a word of support to one in need and let your Spirit flow out from me as I journey on a faithful path. Amen.

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