“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with… kindness… ” Colossians 3:12 NIV
I was reminded of the old Mary Poppins’ song, “A Spoonful of Sugar”, when I read today’s portion from ‘Daily Strength for Daily Needs’ – about the importance of kindness. “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down – in the most delightful way.”
The happiest moments of our lives are probably moments when someone went out of their way to be kind to us. The thrill of obtaining something you’d always wanted – whether a material object or success at work – can be fleeting and quickly forgotten. In contrast, someone’s kindness supplied at the exact point of your need is long remembered.
I remember the kindness of a lady – now a close friend – who drove a long way to the airport, to meet me in a strange city. Another friend prolonged her weekend visit to my home because she saw that I was going through a difficult time, and in need of some company and prayerful support. An aunt who would bring me my favourite sweet each time she came to visit. A policeman who went out of his way to help me when I lost my train ticket. A hospital porter or handyman who always had a cheery smile and friendly word. Couples, who opened their homes for youth meetings. The numerous Christian leaders who, unselfishly, gave of their time to answer my questions or provide advice.
“Let the weakest… remember, that in his daily course he can…shed around him almost a heaven. Kindly words, sympathising attentions, watchfulness against wounding men’s sensitiveness, these cost very little, but they are priceless in their value… the staple of our daily happiness…” FW Robertson.
Our lives and the lives of our neighbours grow happier when we make the effort to be kind to one another. As Christians, we have a special calling to be kind. The world is not an easy place for many and we all know people with more than their fair share of trouble. Old people, who are housebound with no close family or friends. People who feel worthless or unappreciated. The sick and disabled. Our kindness can make a difference – like a spoonful of sugar to a bitter draught.
“The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” Psalm 103:8 NLT
It is the kindness of God, despite our daily missteps and failures, that sustains us and keeps us on the narrow path. And when do we need God’s kindness more than when we have failed Him, disobeyed His word, and done things deserving of punishment? Yet, it is in the nature of God to show lovingkindness, and forgive every sin when we repent. So where we falter, we are encouraged to get up, and not give up.
“Father, we thank You for Your amazing kindness shown to us each day. Help us in our struggle to be nurture this fruit in our lives. May we change and become kind to all, even our enemies. In Jesus name.”
Daily Strength for Daily Needs. Mary W Tileston