It seems like showing kindness is beginning to be a thing of the past. I remember as a child helping our neighbors and being neighborly to them. If your neighbor needed something, you were there to help them out. As a child, I remember shoveling snow and mowing grass for neighbors when they were on vacation or physically unable to. If a tree blew down during a storm, we were there to help cut it up. No matter what our neighbors needed, we were there to help.
Recently, there has been a sharp turn in how we treat others. The days of showing kindness to others are quickly fading. We separate ourselves on politics, race, economic status, etc. Now as a society when we disagree with others, we spread vile and hate filled actions and messages. Instead of trying to understand where the other person is coming from, we harden and start casting stones.
Look no further than the daily news to see that our society is horrible at showing kindness. We are becoming ever more divisive instead of united. The only explanation for this is a lack of a relationship with Jesus. As Christians, we are called to be Christ-like. Jesus showed love for everyone. No matter if you were a prostitute, tax collector or leper, Jesus loved them all the same. When I see so many people caught up with anger, it is sickening. The only cure to this problem is Jesus. No politician, protest or law can fix what is wrong with society.
Watching how people act towards others shows how far along their walk with Christ is. When people are willing to strike complete strangers down for just a disagreement, Jesus is non-existent. See, when we put our faith in Jesus, it becomes evident. Others can see something different about us. When faced with opposition, we respond differently then the world expects us to.
Showing kindness to strangers may be hard for some of you.
As a culture, we have been trained to get easily offended. When someone does something that we don't like, we have a right to whine and complain about it. How does this action benefit anyone? If you want to change the hearts and minds of others that you disagree with, then start showing kindness towards them.
People do not know how to react to kindness negatively. Approaching a situation in a positive, Christ-like way, instantly reduces confrontation. People are more willing to listen to you when they do not feel threatened. It seems as though civil discourse is gone. Having the loudest voice or bringing the most destruction gets you time on the nightly news.
Evil breeds more evil. When you put yourself in a situation of self-pity and anger, you create a recipe for disaster. The Bible tells us in Ephesians that we need to forgive others just like Christ forgave us. When we find ourselves in a position where we cannot forgive others, we need to re-examine our relationship with Christ.
Ephesians 4:32 NASB Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.