Today, we don’t seem to like people who give commands. Suggestions are all right, but don’t tell me what to do. Right? Well, it seems to me that Jesus offered very few suggestions, and gave quite a few commands. In fact, I would seriously take anything the Master said as a command. So when I read Ephesians 4:32, Be ye kind, one to another…, I can rest assured that Paul, through the Holy Spirit, is not making a suggestion that it might be nice if we were kind to each other. Indeed, I can be sure that this is a command. How, then, can I fulfill this command?
Well, for one thing, I cannot lie to another. Neither tell a lie to cover myself, nor to make that other person feel better, because liars are condemned (Revelation 21:8) No, I must be truthful at all times. If a sister asks if her dress looks nice, and I really don’t think it does, I cannot tell her a lie. But I can be kind: “That color looks so good on you,” or anything, as long as it is the truth and does not hurt her feelings. A brother might brag on his new car, which is the ugliest car I have ever see. I want to be kind, so I ask about the mileage it gets, or the turning ratio, or anything that is truthful , but does not hurt his feelings.
Random acts of kindness are always appropriate. A card that simply says, “I was thinking of you” nearly always lifts the spirit of another. You don’t even have to sign the card, because it is a kindness to another, and the Lord knows that you did it. Seeing someone leave something and calling their attenton to it is a gift of kindness. Honestly complimenting another on something they have done…a bulletin board, watering the flowers, mowing the lawn, picking up stray paper, preparing the fellowship hall for a meal…all of these can be honestly complimented and are always appreciated.
There are other ways to be kind. Visit the sick. Relieve caregivers for an hour or a day. Just listen sometimes. Sympathize (better yet, empathize) with the ones who are hurting, whether physically or emotionally. In today’s world, pass on e-mails which lift up and edify the other.
But what is the greatest act of kindness you can render? In reality, it is none of the above. The greatest kindness you can ever do is to share with another your love of the Lord. If one is your friend, tell them about Jesus. If you cannot talk about the Savior to that person, then that person is not really your friend. I don’t mean hammer on it every minute, but show that other person how Jesus has changed your life; show them the kindness you have because of the love of the Lord. Study yourself so that you are equipped to tell others (II Timothy 2:15; II Timothy 3:16). Use the things of God that you have learned to kindly and in a gentle, loving manner, tell others that they too might be saved (Ephesians 4:1-2).
Be ye kind…and your reward will be great in Heaven.