Kindness: 1 Thessalonians 5:15

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. 1 Thessalonians 5:15   (New International Version).

We are all broken.  We are all easy to break.  We feel inadequate, and some days it doesn’t take much to tip us over and into the abyss, as our fragile self esteem is shattered by thoughtless words and actions, perceived and real wrongs.  It is so tempting to speak out in our anger, to punish, to seek revenge, to hold onto all the ways in which we’ve been wronged, looking for the opportunity to hit back.   Perhaps we tell ourselves that we act so that the other person will understand how it feels, and think twice before hurting someone else.There is a saying It is better to sleep on what you plan to do than to be kept awake by what you’ve done.   Wise counsel indeed.

As a mother, my favourite piece of advice to my children is “Be kind.”  Kindness isn’t going to light any fires, or start any wars and it isn’t going to make anyone feel bad, or hurt, or worthless, or despairing.  You aren’t ever going to be sorry for using kind words.  And more than that, this is what God requires of us – that we forgive one another, not paying back wrong for wrong.  Paul says, always be kind.  Kind to one another, our fellow believers in Christ, and kind to everyone else.  Revenge and harsh words have no place in the lives of God’s people.

Paul didn’t say, be kind when you feel like it.  Or, be kind if your head isn’t aching and you don’t feel short tempered.  Be kind when you’ve had enough sleep.  Be kind when the traffic lights are all green on the way to work.  Be kind when you get a parking place close to the shops.  He simply said, Be. Kind.  No matter what else is going on in your life, no matter how you feel, do it anyway.

And when we make the decision to act on these words, to be kind, because it is what God asks of us, we start to see people in a different light.  When we seek the best, we often find it, even in places we never expected it to exist.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, help me to remember that you want me to be kind.  Not because I’m having a great day, not because it’s easy, but because it’s what you want for me, because it’s a way of showing your love.   Amen.

One Response to Kindness: 1 Thessalonians 5:15

  1. Mark Walters says:

    Walking in forgiveness (being nice), creates the essential fragrance of Christ imbued in us. I Corinthians 13

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