With all the chaos that continues to ensue in our world, kindness is more important than you may have been giving it credit. Kindness is powerful.
The world is divided. Most of us aren’t even certain of what’s true anymore. You can attempt to argue people to the truth. And there’s certainly a time and a place for well-reasoned arguments that shift people’s perspectives.
But don’t sleep on kindness. God’s kindness is what actually powers and fuels the transformation of our hearts and minds. That’s what it’s ultimate purpose is. That’s what Paul says in his letter to the Romans.
“Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)
When we show kindness to others, it reveals the heart of God and leads others to him. Kindness is contagious.
But what does kindness look like in our day-to-day routines?
Here are 5 simple yet powerful ways to show kindness to others in your life this week.
1. Call a friend, shoot them a text, or write them a handwritten note.
Whenever someone feels seen, they feel loved. So if you want to show kindness to someone in your life this week, let them know that you’re thinking about them. Give them a call, or shoot them a text. Ask them how they’re doing and be willing to listen with good follow up questions. Offer words of encouragement.
A handwritten note can also be a bright spot on someone’s day. So you might want to pick up a stack of blank greeting cards and some stamps this week and put them at your desk. Whenever you think of someone, quickly jot down a note and put it in the mailbox. It will only take a few moments to do, and it could change the tenor of that person’s entire afternoon.Whenever someone feels seen, they feel loved. Click To Tweet
2. Pick up someone else’s slack.
Sometimes, you just need an assist in life.
Maybe you’re completely slammed at work, and you could really benefit from a coworker taking some routine tasks off your hands for the week so that you can focus on the big project. Perhaps you just need your spouse to worry about dinner and bath time with the kids one night. We all know what it feels like to be struggling to keep your head above water only to find that no one’s willing to toss you a life raft.
Find a way to be someone’s life raft whenever you can.
This week, do what you can to notice others who are struggling and be willing to jump in and help. It could be as simple as buying them lunch, emptying out the dishwasher, or hand delivering a cup of coffee to their desk. But it can mean more than you know.Find a way to be someone's life raft whenever you can. Click To Tweet
3. Overlook someone’s poor response to a situation and focus on what might be bothering them.
During times of stress, sometimes people have a tendency to overreact or react poorly to minor hiccups that occur throughout the day. We’ve all been there. We’ve all overreacted in moments of stress only to later realize that we acted too rashly or harshly. Maybe you were far too direct with criticism during a work meeting, or you went off on your spouse, sibling, friend or roommate.
It’s easy to get offended when you’re on the receiving end of a jarring flare up of emotions. It can make you feel blindsided.
But sometimes the last thing that person needs is for you to address the offense of their words or actions. If they’re a reasonable human being, they probably already know.
What would be far more helpful and kind would be for you to instead address the stress that lay beneath the overreaction. Ask them if they’re doing okay and how you might be able to help.
This isn’t akin to sweeping something under the rug. It just means you’re willing to absorb an offense in order to care for another person out of your love for them.
Peter puts it this way.
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
When you choose to love someone, it covers a multitude of offenses, overreactions, poor responses, and outbursts. Your willingness to be that covering is a great kindness.
4. Pray for someone. Pray with them for added effect.
Praying for someone is one of the kindest things you can do. During difficult situations, we will sometimes say, “all we can do is pray,” as though it were some small consolation. But it’s not. We are connected to the infinite Creator of the universe through prayer. So pray blessings and protection over the people in your life whom you care about.
What’s more is that praying for those in your life isn’t just a kind thing to do. It’s something that God longs for us to do. That’s what Paul says in his letter to the church in Ephesus.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18)
Don’t wait for a special occasion or a desperate need to pray for your friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors. Pray for them in every circumstance. And let them know that you’re praying for them. Pray with them from time to time so that they can hear your heart for them.Don't wait for a special occasion or a desperate need to pray for your friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors. Pray for them in every circumstance. Click To Tweet
5. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself.
Oftentimes, we believe a lie about the grace of God. We would never speak it aloud, but this falsehood often drives the way we treat ourselves: the grace of God is for everybody but me.
Maybe you believe that when other people are stretched thin, we should cut them some slack. But you hold yourself to a higher standard. Or you believe that when others make a mistake, they deserve forgiveness. But you have to be perfect. Other people can have bad weeks and get tired. But you need to always be at the top of your game.
But that’s just not true. You are not too good for the grace of God.
So don’t forget to be as generous with yourself as you are with others when it comes to doling out patience, grace, forgiveness, and words of encouragement. If you need a break, take it. If you mess up, make it right. But don’t beat yourself up. If you aren’t accomplishing everything you thought you could or would, extend patience to yourself.
Now, more than ever, kindness makes an impact.
As the old saying goes, kindness counts. And as cliche as that proverbial insight is, it holds true. Being kind really makes a difference.
Kindness is far more than simply being nice or polite. It comes from a place of love. It’s a willingness to make sacrifices for the benefit of others. Kindness is the very heart of Jesus. So make every effort to be a person of kindness amid your family, workplace, and community.
Find an opportunity to spread kindness today.