A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, February 9, 2014
What if People are Unkind to Me? What Then?
Ah, this is a big question in my mind right about now.
I do have the spiritual gifts of helps and encouragement (among others). But what if I can’t find a way to be helpful? What if someone won’t allow me to be encouraging? What if someone shuts me down before I even open my mouth? What then?
I know the scripted answer. Yeah, yeah. I need to be kind to them. That’s what I’m “supposed to” do.
I get the sneaking feeling—well, all right, God. I know what You’re going to say already. You want me to be kind to them. Period. It’s not only the loving thing for me to do, it’s the kind thing. And the merciful thing. And the morally right thing. On top of everything else, what would Jesus do? (Yes, we’re back to that again.) How would God treat an unkind person?
I know what the Bible says. I Corinthians 13 tells me to love, and gives specific parameters for that loving. Verse four tells me that love is patient and kind. Okay, I ought to be patient and kind. Not some of the time, not part of the time. Not even most of the time. There are no time frame stipulations on love. So I figure God wants me to love all the time.
But what about . . . so-and-so? What’s-his-face isn’t kind, at all! So-and-so wouldn’t be patient if you paid her! Um, I have the feeling that my protests and excuses just won’t go too far. God is going to be like a kind, patient but strict teacher—or coach, or manager. It doesn’t matter how What’s-his-face or So-and-so might act. (As Aslan would say, that’s part of their story. I am not to concern myself with them or their situations. I have quite enough to handle with my story and living my life to the best of my ability. Oh, yeah. And to the glory of God, too.)
Let me turn the tables, as much as I’m hesitant, and tell tales on myself. Yes, I know I’m unkind some of the time. I’m one of those mean, unkind people. I must make some people really angry and upset sometimes. Even though I honestly try not to be unkind, I fly off the handle, I get upset. I lose my patience and get irritated. Yes, guilty as charged. What about you? Are you unkind, once in a while? More often than that?
In the past few days, I have been irritated with people I know. I have lost my patience here at home. I have raised my voice in the car, and yelled at the other drivers. But God still loves me, forgives me. God still waits, arms outstretched. God wants to welcome me back home. Can I do any less? I need to look for ways to be loving, patient and kind, as much as possible. God, help me look for opportunities.