“Just be kind!”
I can’t tell you how many times those three words have been uttered inside my house. The reason why we have said those words so often over the years is because people in my house are not treating each other with kindness. Usually this bad behavior is the outflow of sibling rivalry or annoyance.
Maybe you’ve experienced what I’m talking about. Perhaps you’ve experienced people treating one another unkindly in other relationships. Would you believe that husbands and wives can be unkind toward one another? Or how about neighbors? Have you ever had an unkind interaction with a neighbor? Maybe it was a blow-up with a co-worker or boss.
Some societal observers have noticed that there is an increasing decline of kindness in our culture. People feel more and more comfortable to express themselves in unkind ways. It seems that social media has only made it easier and more comfortable for people to be unkind.
Many of us say, “Just be kind!” to our world, thinking that if people were kind to one another, that kindness would solve a lot of problems. People could choose to be far more kind than what is normal, but time and time again people do not choose kindness.
Why would people not embrace kindness? Why do you and I allow unkind words and actions to flow from our lives? The answers are complicated, as we wrestle with sin and pain and bad habits, broken relationships, and systemic injustice.
It is quite difficult to be kind sometimes, isn’t it? How do we grow kindness in our lives? In our continuing series on the Fruit of the Spirit, we are learning to walk in step with the Spirit, which means growing the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We’ve learned about growing love, joy, peace, patience and now this coming week we’ll study what it means to grow kindness.