The End of One Chapter. The Start of Another.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant an...
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Tributes have been paid throughout this last week to the Queen’s many qualities: her unflinching, faithful sense of duty and service, her love and concern for people – and her kindness.
Those who met her have said that she would give them her full attention, showing genuine interest and generosity. She sought to connect with the people she served. People mattered to her. Kindness was a quality that ran deep in the Queen’s character because it was what she saw in the character of her King and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Being a follower of Jesus means a lifetime of becoming more like him. And that doesn’t happen by accident. It takes Spirit-empowered effort on our part to learn the life-changing way of Jesus.
Paul likens this to putting on a completely new set of clothes, fitting for the people we’re meant to be becoming. Clothe yourselves, he says, with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love. All qualities we find in Jesus.
Every day is an opportunity to put on the character of Jesus. To be the people we’ve been called and saved to be. To practise becoming more like Jesus.
Kindness is about connection. It involves seeing people, noticing them. Paying attention to them. And empathising with them – asking the question of what it is to be them right now. What might make a real difference to them?
Too often, people can be made to feel invisible, unappreciated, as if they didn’t matter. Kindness is a Spirit-empowered action that shows a person they have value.
It involves being alert and ready to connect – to see others, acknowledge them, to recognise our shared, fragile, and often broken humanity; to make a connection and meet a need right in front of us.
Kindness isn’t about the grand gestures but the simple things that can just make someone else’s life better, wherever we are – making eye contact and offering a smile or noticing a need and meeting it, all of which says to them ‘I see you’.
Or giving someone our time, a thoughtful word, an offer of help; being generous in the moment – because this is how we’d like to be treated.
Every day is an opportunity to be kind like Jesus our King, to learn to become more like him.
What would it mean for us to ‘clothe’ ourselves with kindness in that way, wherever we find ourselves this week?
Church Engagement Specialist, LICC
Where have you had the opportunity to be kind this week? Join the conversation in the comments section below.