The world in which we live is fast moving, sometimes frantic, demanding, even terrifying at times. It is undeniably challenging and can be a lonely place. We may long for understanding, for acceptance, for grace and mercy, for a friend, for a helpmate. What is kindness and why does it matter?
Where does it come from? And why does that matter? In spite of having perhaps a cynical heart, we will in all honesty admit that it does matter – indeed, it matters. We long for a kind word, a gentle voice of encouragement, a look that acknowledges our presence, an affirmation of self.
Today we will be talking about:
- What is Kindness and Why Does it Matter?
- Why is Kindness Important?
- What Is an Act of Kindness?
- Why Words Matter
- How to Spread Kindness
- Is Kindness the Same Thing as Grace?
- How to Be Kind
- What is Grace?
- Be Compassionate – Show Mercy
Why is Kindness Important?
- From infancy, we have sought a reassuring touch, a soothing voice, a special smile. Our hearts respond in kind to kindness. Kindness is so important!
- A child does not thrive or flourish in an unkind environment. We desperately need a touch, the sound of that loving voice, the help of someone who cares.
- One does not have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient to damage. We must protect ourselves and our children from the ravishes of unkindness.
- When someone has the courage to reach out for a helping hand, to ask for assistance or to ask to join a group, the possible rejection can be as harmful as a slap in the face. People need people. Kind people.
- Just as a child or a pet thrives when shown love through actions, so do words and the touch of another help develop individuals to their full potential. Without the touch of kindness, much of the person can be destroyed or left impotent.
- The adult who is harangued, ostracized, avoided, or made fun of has a difficult road. The child who is laughed at or feels left out in class finds difficulty in succeeding or finding happiness.
- The person who can step out from the crowd and help these lonely, needy or the so-called “different” person is showing kindness in a way that changes the future of individuals, groups, and nations.
Are you a game-changer? How can we learn to exude kindness; to slow down and listen; to reach out and touch? What is kindness and why does it matter?
What Is an Act of Kindness?
- We might say that to be helpful, to comfort others, to be sympathetic and compassionate to those who are marginalized or even go unseen by the world, are acts of kindness.
- Often we may find ourselves too busy to stop and offer these acts of healing. So, we write a check to a non-profit (and I encourage that) but that should not preclude our becoming involved in righting a wrong. Sometimes just having a conversation of mostly listening is the greatest needed element in a being-kind-situation.
- We can be gentle and sharing; patient and forgiving; showing acceptance of the person as an individual, even if we may not agree with that person’s choices. We can help find provision for the needs of someone. We can speak with humility and concern.
- Walking with someone who is depressed; listening to someone who is grieving; not condemning someone who is already beat down. Being patient with a child; doing the same with the elderly. Treating our spouse with a smile and a soft word. Petting the dog. Speaking softly to an upset teen. Hugging a troubled child. What is kindness and why does it matter?
Why Words Matter
Kindness is an extension of oneself, controlled but unselfishly designed to share another’s burden or encourage someone in any way. In a world where we can be anything we want, choose being kind. ‘A soft word turns away wrath’ is a proverb to be well taken.
Our words are so powerful – we must intentionally use words that build up and not destroy. Only the wise person can control his tongue and avoid the use of words that are destructive, but rather choose words to build one up with enriching, living words.
Wisdom is a gift from God: and we are to ask for a refill time and time again. What is kindness and why does it matter?
How to Spread Kindness
“And what does the Lord require of you. But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 8:6.
Kind people have certain traits that are so much a part of their total persona as to not be realized as such by even that person. They are seemingly inherently kind-hearted and gentle. Their behavior has become a natural part of them – it is who they are.
Kind people usually attract friends, enjoy positive social and work relationships. They are apt to be successful in their job situations as well as their family relations. Other people are influenced by a kind person; we all enjoy the company of that kind person. What is kindness and why does it matter?
People listen when they speak. Calm and measured words bring order to a classroom, to an agitated crowd, or a group of irritable children. Kindness soothes tired and beaten souls. We all are drawn to kindness.
Kind people do not usually find themselves lonely or unsuccessful. This positive character trait contributes to positive social relationships and a more successful career. When people enjoy being around you, the interactions will be more positive and fulfilling. Good things begin to happen.
Observing the things that kind and friendly people do and say in a natural manner may provide to others the prescription for becoming more like them – to learn how to spread kindness.
The first thing we may note is that their inner thoughts have been changed from that of a proud person to that of one having the gift of identifying with the less fortunate. It is an inner change by choice and empowered with spiritual change and growth.
We can all learn to be kind – changing our attitude and listening to a different thought processing can expedite our attainment of this ability, a gift that is made more beautiful with practice.
Is Kindness the Same Thing as Grace?
Kindness is non-judgmental – it is not criticizing. Kindness is living a life of grace. Forgiving someone who does not deserve it. It is freely forgiving them. Read more about the power of forgiveness.
The grace-filled person is a person of joy. A deep abiding peace from knowing that you belong to Jesus and that whatever life throws your way, you believe that God will see you through. This person is filled with kindness and ready to show caring to the hurting along the way. What is kindness and why does it matter?
How to Be Kind
Our first words each morning should be thank you. This sets the mood for the day. We are learning how to be kind.
Beginning the day with a grateful heart – and we always have something for which to be thankful – sets the emotional and functional climate for the day.
No matter what the situation, remind yourself “I have a choice.” That choice may be to leave bitterness and unforgiveness out of today. Act on this word of faith. Include love and kindness to soften the blows. Realize the joy that is yours. Identify the opportunities and display these with boldness. Be alive. Make a difference.
Negativism and pessimism are self-fulfilling prophecies that have no place in your world of developing into a positive, caring and forgiving person: a person who becomes known as kind and gentle and caring. This is not a weak person. It takes the strongest of people to deal in a kindly and uplifting manner with the troubled and downhearted. Kind does not mean without armor for protection.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou
And what you say repeats itself in your most inner self. Protect yourself from worldly clamor, hate and derision.
What is Grace?
Grace is undeserved favor. Receiving something we do not deserve. Spiritually, it means the forgiveness God offers us and that the price has been paid by His son, Jesus.
We can offer human grace by forgiving someone and letting it go. By not exacting the price of an injustice against you.
Grace is kindness in its best form. When we can look at another as a fellow sojourner and treat them well. How precious is a soul!
“Consider how precious a soul must be when both God and the devil are after it.” Spurgeon said.
We must take care when dealing with others. Souls are fragile.
Others do not have to be exactly like you – make allowances. Encourage that soul, give him another chance, extend that grace as it has been extended to you.
I find this not easy to do at times. We are all a work in progress.
Grace is Jesus Christ in redeeming action. Seeking and saving lost and condemned mankind. God’s grace is our only hope for this world and the next.
Be Compassionate – Show Mercy
You are truly an amazing person. Now go extend grace to the rest of us. What is kindness and why does it matter? Be compassionate – show mercy. It’s a joyful plan for Believers! It’s a healing force for a weary world! Ask Jesus – the God who knows your name – to guide you and mold you into this person of kindness that you desire to be.