Kindness. It is a word we say often; yet, it’s meaning and legacy speaks volumes to others lives.
A simple smile of kindness, words of comfort and a touch of empathy can change a person for a lifetime.
As human beings, we experience ups and downs, trials and triumphs and praise and criticism. These emotions weigh heavy on the heart and they can either make you stronger or drag you down.
Let’s pray they make you stronger! And, trust me, it is easier for this to happen when you surround yourself with kind people.
It’s important, as a Christian friend, to be in tune to these emotions in others.
As God’s children, we are called to love others (we are all children of the King). However, loving others in their moment of distress can be difficult. It definitely is not a walk in the park.
Hurting people will do one of two things: push you away or cling on to your strength and drain your energy.
When people push you away:
Often times, people who are hurting push you away. It is important not to get offended when this happens. As I have been taught, hurting people hurt people. Yet, the pain they inflict can be damaging. Try not to let this affect you. Which is easier said than done.
A note of encouragement means a lot to a hurting individual – especially if it hurts to be around them. Slip it in a book they are reading, send a card via snail mail. Encouragement is a great act of true kindness. Tell them what their friendship means to you, remind them of fun times you’ve had together, comment on their contagious smile. This might just touch them forever. Words carry weight. So, it’s important to choose them wisely.
When people cling on to you:
It is easy for people to cling onto your strength when they are going through a difficult time. First of all, they want the strength they see in you – so try to grab hold of it by being with you and needing you all the time. While this is flattering to some degree, it can zap the life out of you.
It is important to set boundaries with this type of person; because, if you don’t, you might end up hurting yourself or your family members. Set aside a time just for you and that person (but that’s all). Maybe it’s one coffee date a week – or a 30 minute phone call. Do not exceed the allotted time. You can be kind without being walked all over. If this person needs more time than this (excluding family members) they may need to seek professional help.
Kindness is never the wrong choice.
A single act of kindness goes a long way. Choose kindness this week. Smile at a stranger, buy the coffee in the car behind you. You never know who’s life you could be impacting. Love your neighbor as yourself – but be good to yourself at the same time. Being a healthy person breeds kindness toward others.