(A series about the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5)
post by Eric Vorhies
Kindness is something I struggle with.
I am not saying that I am inherently mean. It’s just that I have a very matter of fact way of dealing with people. I chalk it up to being a task-oriented person.
I like tasks. They are simple. They generally have a beginning and an ending…They can be completed.
People and their feelings are not so nice and easy. They are complicated. And sometimes, we, ourselves, don’t even know why we feel one way or choose to do a certain thing. How do two people, who are uncertain about how things should be done or even how they feel about it, come together on common ground? In a world where people are hurt because someone didn’t like their Instagram post, I am lost on how to validate some people’s thoughts, opinions, actions, and feelings…but…then there is kindness.
The power of kindness is that it bridges my humanity to that of another person.
The only way I know this is by trying to look at the Bible through the lens of modern times. If Jesus were walking with us today as he did back then, Jesus would be at the bar hanging out with drunks, hookers, and IRS agents. He wouldn’t be doing anything wrong, but we would still wonder why he was there when he could be hanging out with us. He would also make time in his busy schedule to stop and hang out with kids and to visit people at the hospital. The more I think about it the more I realize that kindness bridges two people that are different.
It is easy to see and accept us and them — Christians and non-Christians, Americans and everyone else, Republican and Democrats. But kindness gives us the opportunity to see more than that…to see people as…you know, people. That’s what Jesus was doing his entire ministry. He marginalized the difference between His divinity and our sinfulness by being kind.
I will never say it is easy. Remember, I am a task-oriented person. But when I catch myself missing a moment to show kindness, I try to imitate Christ by loving first and in truth and action. Because despite any apparent differences, I am just like every other person — a human in need of the Gospel — and by showing kindness, I can show others who Christ is.