When you choose kindness, you clear the way for your own healing
A strange thing happens when you choose kindness. The healing power of the Holy Spirit, flowing through you to the other person, heals your hurts as well.
As a single person, I sometimes find myself irritable, especially in hot weather. I don't tolerate heat well.
Because I am mildly ill on hot days, I have to make a conscious effort not to snap at people. To be kind takes not only restraint on my part, but the extra effort of reaching out, too.
It's always worth it, though. Always. When I'm kind, I never have anything to regret later, and it might have made someone else's day go a little easier.
Change, but no change
When we think about the hectic pace of society today, then compare it to the time of Jesus in ancient Israel, we see that many things have changed. On the other hand, many things have not.
Working people are often treated unfairly by their employers. The hassles of traveling can make you short-tempered. People in authority can be rude and overbearing.
Maybe that's why Jesus attracted large crowds everywhere he went. When you choose kindness, that's what happens. He touched people's lives with the love and compassion of God, paying attention to them in a way they'd never experienced before.
Jesus: champion of the 'little man'
Peasants had a hard life in Israel. They worked at backbreaking manual labor every day and rarely got ahead. They were oppressed by the Romans and scolded by the Pharisees.
Then along came Jesus of Nazareth. How different he was to them! He healed their sickness, listened to their problems, and showed them that they were important to God. That was the first time in their lives they'd ever heard such a thing.
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Do you know there are millions of people just like them today? They hunger to be appreciated. They long for someone to tell them that they matter. They're aching for someone to show them love.
Are you one of them? In a sense, we all are.
The astounding way of God's love
When you choose kindness, something amazing happens. In ancient times, balm or oil was often applied to heal a person's wounds. When someone applied that healing oil to another, it was impossible to do that without getting some on their own hands.
That's what happens when you are kind. As the healing power of the Holy Spirit flows through you, like that oil, it touches your wounds and begins to heal them as well.
We don't reach out to others in selfishness. We reach out because that's what Jesus tells us to do. Every time we choose kindness, we obey his command to "love your neighbor as yourself."
Choose kindness and surprise people
Kindness is out of the ordinary. It's certainly not typical behavior in today's "me first", "out of my way", "I was here first", "it's all about me" world.
When you choose kindness, you'll be greeted by surprise and often suspicion. People will think you have some ulterior motive. Of course you do: to spread the love and good news of Jesus Christ.
Make someone's life happier today. Let them know that they matter. Give them something they haven't had in a long time.
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