Kindness is essential to our soul and body. You can connect with God, sleep right, eat well, forgive often & love your job, and still need kindness. We all do.
We were designed to need:
- Genuine praise
- Positive input
- A well timed kind word.
More than just a pat on the back or a cliche comment, kindness demonstrates that we matter. For we all have that burning desire to be known, to matter. And in a world where so many of us are consumed with self, our stuff and getting through the day, we forget this key fact: we ALL NEED kindness. It isn’t an optional part of the package, like paying to upgrade to automatic. Without kindness, we wither away.
Years ago, psychologists experimented on children in orphanages. Some were given positive touch and words; others only spoken to when they had to, and touched only in necessity, never in kindness. The kids that were given kindness developed well. The children from whom kindness was withheld, did not flourish. In fact, many died of what I suspect were broken hearts from not feeling wanted.
Withholding kindness deeply wounds. Offering kindness can open hearts, help restore and bind up wounds. Show them a glimmer of hope. To know that someone cares. For many people, God is the kindest person they know.
I remember hearing Graham Cooke, British author and public speaker, share how he grew up hidden away from his father’s sight, never allowed to the table at meal times or ever to receive a birthday present, let alone a kind word. Graham ended up extremely angry, confused and in trouble. God stepped in, and loved up on Him that has radically changed Graham for life. He regularly shares how God is the kindest person he knows. Because for Graham, He was.
If you are listening to too many harsh words from those around you or the enemy, you need to withdraw to clear your mind within, and begin to listen for God to speak words of love, mercy, grace and kindness towards you.
And it doesn’t stop there. As His hands, feet & mouth to the world, like the prophets of old, God may use you to speak something positive, encouraging, uplifting or kind to someone you know, as He whispers what to speak through you. And which of us can’t use more kindness in our lives?
The Bible reminds us that:
“Kind words are like honey. Sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” (Proverbs 16:24)
“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6:31)
“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” (Colossians 3:12)
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Proverbs 12:25)
“Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.” (Proverbs 21:21)
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10)
“Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! “ (Hebrews 13:1-2 MSG)
Offer kindness to everyone you meet whenever you can, whether a family member, friend, coworker, boss, the person serving you at the store. You never know, your words can make the difference in helping someone feel they can go on for another day, because they are reminded they matter with your kind words. For they don’t just matter to those around them, but to God. Your kindness may be the missing piece for them to understand that God loves them!