This is part four of my 2013 Faith Focus blog series. In this series I am digging in and picking apart Colossians 3:12-17, and what it means for us as Christians. Are we changed because God Chose us? What does it mean to be beloved? What is compassion, anyway?
This week I am focusing on “kindness”.
Quite simply, kindness is being nice.
Sounds easy right?
As a mom, I tell my children multiple times a day to “be nice” and to “play nicely.”
As a person, I need these same reminders.
I’m not always nice. I’d love to claim kindness as an inborn trait, but alas, kindness does not come naturally to me.
Sure, I can be kind. And when I remind myself to be kind, I generally am. I’m not mean. I’m just not always kind.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. When Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians, he too had to remind them to be nice, to “put on then . . . kindness”.
I don’t tell my kids to put on a jacket if they are already wearing one. The Colossians obviously had a “kindness issue” if they were being reminded to be kind.
I think kindness requires a spirit of empathy. I am a lot kinder to people once I’ve gotten into their shoes. I’m much kinder to family members who are grouchy when I know that they have had a bad day.
And, let’s face it. I’m vain. I want people to think that I am kind. So, out in public. . . you get a much kinder version of me.
So I’m going to continue the clothing analogy that Paul starts with. He instructs us to “put on” these character traits, much as I tell my kids to put on their jackets or gloves to fight the chill.
I often forget to add accessories to my outfits. Accessories make me look “finished” and often soften my look. But they don’t seem comfortable or natural to me. Such is kindness. Kindness softens me as a person. Kindness makes me more pleasant to be around. I need to remember to put on (and keep on) kindness.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
(Titus 3:4-7 ESV)
Chime in! Does kindness come easy to you? How do you remind yourself to “put on . . . kindness”?