We’re welcoming Christy Cook back for her second guest post today! Christy is such a kind person, online and in real life – I feel like she’s pretty qualified to write on this topic. 😉 Even those of us who already strive to be kind will need this reminder…especially the little quiz below. None of us are perfect, but I believe kindness can change the world, so let’s work on ourselves daily. ~Kristen
When I was in second grade, I remember very clearly being treated unkindly at school recess by a girl from church who was supposed to be my friend. I guess she was trying to be cool in front of some of the other kids. You see, I did not have the name brand clothes or cool shoes or nicest hairdo at the time. I was always a new student. We moved around a lot. I did not grow up in that particular city, so my family was not well known in the community. I had nothing to offer or give, really, except friendship alone. No expensive toys, fancy house, or nice swimming pool. We just did not have those things then. So I understood why she might be embarrassed to be my friend. I distinctly remember her saying to me as I tried to walk with her to play, “No, you go play over there!” as she pointed towards another part of the playground.
I do not remember my immediate response so much. Nor do I remember going home in tears. I know why I don’t remember those things: because I went home to parents that loved me so much. They filled my cup, even though at times it was being drained by instances like the above. I may have been lonely sometimes at school, but never did I feel out of place at home and I am grateful for that.
A part of me wants to go back to that day and tell that girl out loud for all to hear, “You are mean!” Perhaps calling her out on the matter would have made her realize how I felt from the jarring impact of her words. Maybe she would have awakened to her unkindness and changed her ways.
So I ask you again: “Are you a mean girl?” Maybe you immediately said “no” to yourself. Maybe you had to think about it and then shook your head. Maybe you know…you just know…that you are not always the nicest person. Maybe these examples can help you figure it out:
1) Do you size someone up based on how they look?
2) Do you flirt with men/boys that are already married or have boyfriends?
3) Do you tease guys or lead them on only to leave them hanging or misled?
4) Do you make fun of people? (You know even adults do this).
5) Do you fail to take others seriously or make light of what is important to them?
6) Do you purposefully leave others out because of how they might make you look?
7) Do you only respond to someone who adds up to your caliber?
8) Do you interrupt others or ignore them?
9) Do you allow for others to feel stupid or embarrassed when you could have prevented it?
So now what? Maybe you realize you really are not a very nice person. So, today choose kindness. Practice it! Spread it around like confetti!!!
Pray about it. Find ways to show it. Write down ideas and be specific. Think about the last person you were unkind to. What can you do to make that right? Ask for forgiveness. Write cards. Speak less. Change your attitude.
I think we often behave unkindly when we are full of pride and selfishness. Most people that I consider mean I would describe as such. As a Christian that is not what we want to be, is it??!! If we are to be like Christ, we have no room for such attitude or behavior.
What about when others are mean to you? What do you do? Romans 12:20 tells us to basically be nice to those that are mean to us. We should “heap coals of fire” on them. It may just be the best way to teach someone the better way. Verse 21 says to “overcome evil with good.” It’s hard. I’ve been there. It’s really hard to be nice to someone who is mean to you. Of course we should stand up for ourselves if necessary. In that instant, the kind thing to do may be to point out the fact they are being mean. Maybe they do not even realize it. Proverbs 27:6 says “faithful are the wounds of a friend.” Sometimes that is what we need, a good kick in the pants from a friend.
Be kind anyway. Love anyway. I so enjoyed the most recent Cinderella movie. Cinderella’s mother gave her daughter wonderful advice on bravery and kindness. My mantra of late is “have courage and be kind.” But she also says this:
Magic! We can change the world and bring others to Christ and on to heaven with us if we can just start and finish with this: Kindness!
Stop being mean! We have no time for such adolescent behavior. We have souls to save. We have sheep to bring back. We have seed to sow. We have treasure to seek.
We need to grow up. We also need to instill kindness in our children. They are naturally going to be selfish. They will be mean to other kids at times. We must correct that behavior before they grow up to be mean, self-seeking, unprofitable, whiney Christians. Not what the Church needs, is it?
Another great thought to consider from another favorite of mine:
It’s the only way we will ever defeat evil.
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Christy is married to Josh, a minister at the North Jackson Church of Christ in Jackson, TN. They have five children: Canaan, Caia, Carmody, Jude, and Jago. Christy is a graduate recruiter at Freed-Hardeman University. She enjoys reading, writing, teaching, traveling, and scrapbooking.