This past week I was flipping through the pages of the Bible looking for a certain verse. The sun was shining, the window blind was open, and I could hear my children’s laughter outside of my office window. I would like to say that I am usually very focused during my studies and nothing gets me off track but that would be a lie. Usually, I have a million things running through my mind. Is the next sermon ready? Is the church ready to go? Are visitor bags ready for the guest? Is there activities after church Sunday? On those nice days when I am home, I am thinking about being outside, with my kids, or even working in the garage for a bit. But when I was flipping through the pages of Scripture, I found myself in Proverbs. A word jumped out at me and despite all the things going on in the world around me my eyes became captivated on one word.
It seems like such an elementary word. I remember my kids learning how to be ‘kind’ in preschool and kindergarten. We taught them things like sharing toys, helping a friend who is hurt, giving someone else first pick on snacks as all being ways we can be kind. We taught them that words are one way we can be kind. It was actually a verse on words and kindness that caught my attention. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
In the news of this past week words have taken center stage. Words that are not kind. Words that we do not want our kids to repeat. Words that can be rather offensive to people. After reading this verse, listening to the news, it made me wonder, are my words kind? So, I asked myself, as an adult, what does it mean to be kind? I thought primarily about the words I use. The things I say to my kids when I become frustrated. The words I choose to use with my wife. The things I say to a cashier, a server, or someone else who is serving me. But then there are actions to. When someone gets in my way at the store, pulls into the gas pump I was planning on going to, or when someone doesn’t use a blinker. These are all times when we have a chance to respond in a way that isn’t kind.
I believe that Proverbs 16:24 is telling us that not only are our words and actions sweet and healthy for others but they are sweet and healthy for us as well. As a Christ follower a mark of identification can be that of kindness. A healthy Christ follower will clothe themselves with kindness. In the same manner someone who does not clothe themselves with kindness, well, I have to wonder about the relationship that person shares with the Lord. No, its not too late. No, its not that a Christ follower isn’t unkind sometimes. But it means that we should be working toward displaying ourselves in such a manner that kindness consistently flows through our words and actions. Through my studies on this word I read Proverbs 3:3 which says, “Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.” There is also Proverbs 11:17, “Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.”
When I came back from my thoughts on kindness, I couldn’t help but wonder if the actions of my kids, those both kind and unkind, were reflective of what they had seen form their dad. My prayer for all who find themselves in the fellowship of the Kingdom of God is that their life will always display acts of kindness to all of those around them. Blessings!