The Gift of Kindness
I finally made it out of the house to do a little Christmas shopping. Let me just say, it is crazy out there right now: traffic in town is hideous, checkout lines are long, inventory has been picked over, and clerks are frazzled. And worst of all, I saw many shoppers just being rude.
One of the shops I often frequent is a children’s clothing outlet where I find great bargains when shopping for my grandchildren. It has been weeks since I have been able to shop, so I went with great anticipation, ready to find some adorable outfits for my grandchildren.
After carefully choosing two outfits for each grandchild, I laid them on the counter for the clerk to ring it up. She politely asked me if I had any coupons and I sighed when I realized I had left them at home. After overhearing this exchange, a lady tapped me on the shoulder and offered: “I have a coupon. Would you like to use it?” I was floored. This lady was a total stranger and she was offering me her 25% off coupon. What an unexpected kindness in my frantic day!
I began to contemplate “kindness”. Ephesians 2:7 says God’s kindness was expressed to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. The very gift that lay in the manger on Christmas was an expression of God’s kindness towards us. According to Galatians 5:22 it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, meaning when I am walking in the power of the Spirit, kindness will flow from me.
After arriving home from shopping, I began to talk to the Lord about “kindness” in my own life. Do I display this fruit of the Spirit? BE KIND has become a slogan of sorts in today’s culture. But for those who call themselves followers of Jesus, kindness should be on display in our lives every day.
These thoughts led me to The Word and I began to research the meaning of kindness. I was more than surprised to see a synonym for kindness is benignity. That got my attention because I am currently recovering from a surgery which removed a baseball sized tumor attached to my ovary. In the operating room, the surgeon said the tumor appeared to be malignant, meaning dangerous, invasive, and cancerous. Yet, when the pathologist studied it under the microscope, the diagnosis was a borderline tumor, some call it low malignancy. The tumor was neither clearly malignant nor clearly benign. The only required treatment was to simply remove the tumor.
God says, “I am the Lord, who exercises kindness…” (Jeremiah 9:24)
There is no borderline with God. His character is kindness. His gift to us this Christmas is not just His kindness toward us, but our own ability to walk in kindness toward others.
I may have had a “borderline tumor” but I do not want to be known as a borderline follower of Christ.
Romans 2:4 also reminded me that it is God’s kindness that draws me to repentance. It’s not his condemnation, not his cruelty, nor His pointing of the finger.
The Lord in His kindness clearly said to me, “Donna, I want to cut out anything in your life that does not allow you to live out kindness toward others. There is no borderline. You are either kind toward others or you are not.”
Do you see evidence of any “borderline” in your own life? This season I hope that you will pray along with me: Lord, fill me with your Spirit as I choose to live out your kindness every day. May the kindness that flows through me draw others to You!