'Be Kind'

Terry Walton



I Was Thinking…

Kindness is an amazing gift.  It is listed in the Paul’s famous list of the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ found in Galatians 5:22 ff.  It is certainly understandable that the BIG three…love, joy and peace would be listed there but why kindness?  Is it really so important to be listed among the nine fruit of the spirit?  Yes it is!

Plato once said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”  Kindness…sounds so simple doesn’t it?  But it can be so difficult.  This is why we need the help of the Holy Spirit to get it accomplished in and through our lives.

Can you remember an act of kindness that was extended your way when you deserved anything but kindness? I can.  This week my home Camp Meeting is gathering at Mt. Zion Camp Ground in Griffin, Georgia.  As an older teenager I remember being a party to ‘bullying’ some boys several years younger while at Camp Meeting.  Ed Griffin, whom all of us fondly called “Paw Paw” found out about my misdeeds.  He was a towering figure, highly respected by those who knew him.  He approached me about my ‘bullying’ and had every right to lower the hammer on me…tell my parents…use me as an example of bad behavior for the rest of camp to see.  But it was his kindness that spoke the loudest.  He told me he knew I could be better than a bully.  He asked me to think about how it felt to be bullied.  And then he put his huge hand on my shoulder and said “Remember treat them like you’d want to be treated”.

Paw paw’s kindness spoke volumes.  As you can see…I’ve never forgot it.  Aesop’s words are very true “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

In my devotional reading last week I read the following words:  “It is not right to tax other people’s nervous systems, to try other people’s virtues to burden other people’s already weary lives in order to satisfy our own need to be important.  We don’t have to lead them into anger and anxiety, frustration and despair.  We don’t need to keep them waiting; we don’t need to argue their requests; we don’t need to count out every weight to the ounce, every bag to the gram, every dollar to the penny.  We can give freedom and joy with every gift we give or we can give guilt and frugality…we can err on the side of largesse of Spirit.” (Rule of Benedict, Pp.162-163)

Kindness is so important that Jesus cut to the chase when he said “Our Father is kind; you be kind.”(Luke 6:36, The Message)  Enough said.

Always Thinking…

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