Saturday, January 4, 2014

Kindness means…

Love is alive when it cares, is dying when it forgets, is dead when it ignores.

I Corinthians 13:4 (NIV), "…Love is kind".  That's a word we use a lot but what does it mean? 

Kindness means the ability to care for each other in the practical details of everyday life.  Kindness knows how to turn the grand vows that you make in a wedding ceremony into washing dishes, and taking out trash even if it's not your turn or responsibility.  Kindness knows how to take the great hopes that you have in a hospital nursery and turn them into changing dirty diapers, and staying up with sick kids.  That's kindness.  That's what it's all about.  And love is kind.  Love knows how to care. 

Kindness means that I have to adapt to meet the practical needs of another person.  It wouldn't be so hard if I didn't have to change, to adapt, to give up some of my time -- but that's what it means. 

I've noticed even when it comes to kindness, sometimes we struggle with that.  We don't know how to be kind to each other.  I've picked up cards that say "I love you and want to kindly tell you how important you are to me."  One card said, "If I had an ice cream cone, I'd give you half.  If I had six candies, you'd get three.  If I had two apples, one would be yours.  If I won the lottery, I'd send you a postcard from Tahiti."  Kind loving words! 

Another:  "Valentines Day, that one day of the year when we all like to hear these three little words – Chocolate Isn't Fattening."

Learn to be kind.  It's OK to say kind words to one another, it's OK to act in kind ways. 

Ephesian 4:32 (LB), "Be kind to each other, tenderhearted [notice that word], forgiving [notice that word] one another, just as GOD has forgiven you." 

If I'm going to be kind to another person I have to have a tender heart towards them.  I have to realize that they're a person just like me with feelings just like me, with struggles just like me. 

Just a thought from the front porch…

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