We know we are supposed to be kind, right?
It seems like the good thing to do. The nice thing to do. Even the neighborly thing to do. We should be kind.
But why? Why should we strive to be kind? Because someone has been kind to us? What if they are unkind? Does that mean we are released from the responsibility of being kind?
As my wife and I are raising our now three-year old, it’s something we have had to think through again. As good parents, we want him to be kind. But if you have ever had the experience of convincing a toddler that he or she should be kind (or share or say “thank you” or “I’m sorry”), you know that it can be somewhat challenging.
I was reminded of an important truth we all need to hold to as I had a conversation with him one evening. I asked him, “Why should you be kind to other people?” His answer fell into the space of “because mommy and daddy said so.”
That’s not a bad answer, but then I remembered that there is a deeper reason for him, or any of us, to be kind.
So I told him, “We should be kind because God has been kind to us.”
Because God is love, we should love others.
Because God is truth, we should speak truthfully.
Because God forgives us, we should forgive others.
Because God is compassionate, we should show compassion.
That conversation is one I know we will have many times with our son, but it’s also a great reminder to us, especially to those of us who claim to be followers of Jesus.
God has been kind to us through His Son Jesus and we should be grateful for His kindness. Then, we should strive to be kind to others because of God’s kindness to us.
Paul says it this way in Ephesians 4 & 5: “…be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
So, as you go through your week, be kind. Because God is kind and He has been kind to us.