And be kind to one another… —Ephesians 4:32
Christmas is the season of good cheer, but it often becomes a season of stress…so much shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking and visiting with friends and relatives. Before you know it, people are losing patience and snapping at one another. It’s easy to become unkind.
I’ll never forget something my daughter told me a long time ago. She said that her goal was to learn to love or to treat with kindness, goodness and mercy every single person she encountered who was unkind or ugly to her. She said, “That’s my goal. I want to submit to God in my emotions and the way that I handle myself so that when I’m out in public and someone mistreats me, I respond with kindness.”
She said, “One of the things that God has shown me that really helps me to do this is, when someone is grouchy toward me, I can get angry and frustrated or I think: I don’t know what this person is going through. Maybe right now her back hurts terribly. Maybe she has a horrible migraine headache. Maybe this grumpy man at the meat counter at the grocery store has a child who just died last week. Maybe he is carrying a financial burden that feels too heavy for him. Maybe that woman’s husband walked out on her and is living with another woman. Maybe this man has just been told he’s losing his job at the end of the week.
We don’t know what’s going on in people’s lives.
Kindness will cause you to slow down and give people some space and some grace. People are under so much stress that half of the time they don’t even realize what they’re doing. Life was not meant to be the way it is today. We were not meant to live at the fast pace at which we live, with thousands of things coming at us at once. Stress and overload are the disease of the twenty-first century, and it makes people grouchy. People don’t have time for each other anymore. We don’t even have time to talk to anyone.
I think we’ve lost sight of some important things in life and that we need to put kindness back on our priority lists!
Love Others Today: Help me, Lord to be especially kind to people who are not kind to me.