“Be kind to one another.” Ephesians 4:32
For over two thousand years, the Golden Rule has served as the foundation for building healthy relationships. Even those who aren’t Christians would recognize this principle of “loving others as ourselves” as a must in civilized society. The apostle Paul reiterated this truth in the book of Ephesians “Be kind to one another.” It should be so easy, right?
We know all too well that it’s not. The truth is that kindness needs to be cultivated in our hearts. Some more than others. And the key to true kindness is found in the genuineness of the act. Webster’s dictionary defines kindness as “having tenderness or goodness of nature” and also “taking delight in contributing to the happiness of others.”
Wow! That’s pretty powerful, isn’t it?!! When was the last time you took delight in making others happy? Not just for show, not just to earn favor, but an act that was drawn from the depth of your heart?
“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship,
and he who plants kindness gathers love.” Saint Basil
CALL TO ACTION
How can you and your family be more intentional in delighting in the happiness of others?
• SMILE! William Arthur Ward, an American author and motivational speaker, said “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” Smiles are like yawns…they are contagious! Never underestimate the power of your smile! Have a friendly family competition – how many people can you get to return your smile during the day?
• GIVE AN OCCASIONAL GIFT! Whether it’s for your spouse or children, or a coworker or teacher, taking the time to get to know someone well enough to surprise them with an occasional gift shows that you care! It doesn’t have to be huge or expensive, you can give the gift of time or simply a token of appreciation. John Maxwell always talks about adding value to others – his 30-Second Rule approach challenges us to take at least 30 seconds to give appreciation or praise (add value) to the lives of those around us.
• BE AWARE of NEEDS! Another way to show kindness is to alleviate someone in distress. A great way to learn the power of kindness as a family is to seek a need and find a way to fill it. Consider serving on ministry team at your church or finding ways of serving in your community.
“You can always give something, even if it is only kindness.” Anne Franke