Sticks and stones break many bones, hearts, and spirits. It saddens and wearies me to see such happen to myself and others. Whatever happened to practicing kindness, grace, love, and mercy? These things are needed in our world right now. It starts with me, and it starts with you. Today I affirm the power of kindness in a world where belligerence, verbal bullying, and disrespectfulness rule the airwaves. The impact is sweeping across our country in different places – schools, homes, business, and even the church – where it should not be. I want to be a bridge builder and not a community destroyer, so the practice of kindness is one way I can do it.
The change begins with me. What I wish to see in the world I must live out myself. I must take on the deliberate practice of kindness. I must practice extending grace to others even when they don’t deserve it. I must choose the way of love in all my dealings with people no matter who they are. And I must also show mercy because it bridges gaps and makes way for restoration. These things have been granted to me many times, and I want to do the same for others. I want to live a life that affirms truth and hope. I want to be a positive impact on others by being encouraging and equipping. If I act with a mean spirit or assert my right to be right even when it damages connection, then I fail. My impact ceases to be potent.
I suppose the deeper issue is that I want the expression of my faith in Christ to not be tainted by the fallibility of my humanness. I do not want to get in the way of the gospel breathing through me. I do not want to operate from a hypocritical place that distorts or dishonors the truth and fame of God. I’m laying down my sticks and stones. I’m putting on Christ and walking under the glorious weight of His authority, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Maybe, just maybe, as I practice kindness, it will lead others to change their mind about God in ways that bring salvation, hope, and freedom.
I know kindness matters because it has led me to a spacious place where love abounds and dispels every bit of darkness. It has led me to encounters where wholeness and acceptance are experienced. As we affirm the practice of kindness beyond words on paper or digital prints on the internet, it becomes a powerful force for good. As we affirm it, I believe change will come. Our words become our actions. Our actions become the way we demonstrate our love for one another. Let’s love well and with kindheartedness. It matters!
This is day 17 of my 31 Days of Affirmation. In this series I’ll affirm hope, faith, truth, and encouragement even when life is troubling. Particularly the series ponders what it means to hold on to those things that are good, right, noble, honorable, true, and lovely even when life isn’t so pretty. You can read all the series posthere. I hope you’ll be encouraged.
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