all of creation responds to kindness in a similar way. kindness disarms defences and brings hearts to a common level.
i’m not all surprised that the the first description of what real love looks like is that love is patient followed by love is kind. have you ever attempted to show kindness in a state of impatience? can you say difficult? however, have you shown kindness and seen impatience melt like snow?
one of my pet peeves is rudeness. funny thing is that my distaste for rudeness can make me impatient and rude…dah, dee…how does that work? you dislike rude people so you’ll be rude. that is not a congruent philosophy, is it?
a key to converting impatience to patience is the space between our impulses and our actions. it’s all about the timing.
customer service people often face hour by hour rude customer’s which can wear them down and bring out the rudeness in their personalities. dealing with a rude store clerk provokes a reaction inside me. there was a time that it provoked anger, frustration and corresponding responses…but over time i’ve learned that if i allow a kind response to provoke my actions, the result is more beneficial.
i was standing in line the other day at a shop and the clerk was not very nice. i stood and listened as she snapped at customer after customer. some customers snapped back and others exhibited the sting on their stunned faces. when it was my turn to be served, i began with, ” bless your heart, it looks like you are rushed off your feet. does that make for a rough day?” her whole demeanor changed. “i’m having such a difficult day.” then she began to share her heart concerning many other difficulties she was facing in her life. i was presented with a wounded heart. opportunities like that are jewels to me and had i impulsively responded to her rudely…i would have denied myself that opportunity. by the time i stepped away from the counter, she and i were giggling, she gave me a special manager’s discount and she thanked me for putting her day back into a positive perspective. as i approached the exit i heard her say, ” hello, how is your day going? at least the sun is shining, that makes the day more fun when you are shopping.” the customer behind me was being greeted kindly and cheerfully.
patience and kindness are partners when it comes to love. they are a great team!
on this subject, i think Paul had some great advice (message version):
if you help, just help, don’t take over;
if you teach, stick to your teaching;
if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy;
if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate;
if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond;
if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them.
Keep a smile on your face.
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.
Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.
Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.
Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.
Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.
Help the needy; be inventive in hospitality.
Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.
Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.
Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up.
Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
Don’t hit back;
discover beauty in everyone.
If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.
Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.
Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
a kind heart is not for the wimpy…it shows strength of character and maturity.
Paul also advised, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking…always dragging you down to its level of immaturity.” it is much easier to fit into a grumpy culture; however, it’s not nearly as rewarding. being grumpy doesn’t get you closer to your goals and dreams of being loved…but kindness will.
even the most difficult person to deal with is on a search for acceptance and love. the love we long for is true and genuine…and it is patient and kind.
my advice for practicing kindness: the most fun you’ll have is to get out there and share a few random acts of kindness…it will melt your heart and the hearts of those you show kindness to…have fun with it!
remember practice makes perfect, this one should be easy!
if you accept the challenge, let me know how it goes in the comments section…or share how you have turned potentially volatile situations around by showing love in the form of kindness.
thanks for reading,