I find myself with these two words on “repeat” with my kids and, if I’m honest, with myself also. It seems like there is no shortage of opportunities to practice them in our culture, even in the “hospitable” south. From the person with road rage who thought going 10 miles over the speed limit wasn’t fast enough to the person on the other end of the phone calling me a few choice words at work to the impatient people in the checkout line at Walmart, sometimes I just want to scream:
Two simple words, but what power they bring when we put them into practice.
Wouldn’t we rather just punish or show up those who treat us poorly or callously make our lives more difficult? Proverbs 25:22 says, “You will heap burning coals on their heads, and the Lord will reward you.” This sounds so awesome! Let me be the one to pour them on, please! Who doesn’t want to do that? However, you have to read the previous verse to find out how to make that happen: verse 21 states, “If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.” In other words, even when people don’t deserve it, be kind.
Ugh! Why is that in there? In my opinion, if we are followers of Jesus, a kind response to someone allows us to be Christ in the flesh to that person. What better way to get their attention and for them to question the difference in us when we don’t response the way the world would or the way most people expect? Remember, our lives have a purpose and every personal interaction is an opportunity to live out that purpose. Furthermore, God is shaping us and creating in us a new heart…and heart-change will always result in an action-change.
Let me challenge you to put these two simple words on repeat in your heart and mind this week: Be kind. Your act of kindness may be what directs a person toward Christ and starts the process of change in them.