Over the years, I have encountered a wide range of people. Some I have gotten along with fabulously. Others… not so much. I think it is okay that you don’t get along with everyone. Personalities and life histories will play a role in every relationship. But, regardless of how well we get along with someone, there is something we should do with everyone. We should treat them with kindness.
I have always seen kindness as the expression of grace to others. This is not something that comes naturally to me! But, I have learned to be kinder with others. It has taken some time. I will not lie, it has not been easy. Not because I have a difficult time being kind, but because some people are hard to be kind to. When personalities clash, kindness can be in short supply.
We are on Day 27 of this journey through Lent. For some, when they give something up for the season, it can have some negative effects. I remember a friend giving up caffeine cold turkey one year. No soft drinks or coffee or anything caffeinated. At about this time in that year’s Lent my friend was cranky and irritable. When we get to this stage being kind is more difficult.
I want to take a moment and explore why. Why does it get difficult to be kind when we are under pressure? My conclusion was that when we are under pressure we are focusing on our own problems. We have a hard time seeing the needs of our neighbors because our own needs have obstructed our view of them. What I realized is that kindness is a form of grace. And just like grace, kindness is a sacrificial act.
I would like to encourage you that whether in the season of Lent or in some other season, we should seek to be kind. Remember that kindness is an act of grace and that for we all have people that we will find it harder to be kind to. So, don’t be surprised. Prepare to be kind before you have to be kind.