Thursday, February 25, 2016

Kindness as a Lifestyle

Year 4:Day 56- Today, I am grateful for those who cast "random acts" of kindness aside and embrace "kindness as a lifestyle". 

Our Jr. High Principal had the pleasure of hearing Maya Angelou speak at an educators convention, not long before her death.  She has many fabulous quotes but this is a twist on one her common themes that continues to challenge me every single day.  

“Anyone can be kind, merciful, caring and compassionate erratically, but it takes courage to be that way consistently.”-Maya Angelou

Anyone can be intermittently kind, merciful, caring and compassionate. Many can and will with the hope of some kind of "return" on the kindness extended.  That is not love.  That is kindness as a currency. 

Kindness as a lifestyle will ripple into eternity. What a great seed to sow. 

I like imagery. Imagine throwing kindness like glitter. Into the wind, without a care as to where it will land...only confident that it will had a little sparkle wherever it does.  There is no intention of re-collecting. Just the knowledge that it adds beauty, a smile and wonder. 

It takes courage to live a kindness lifestyle.  Be courageous.  When currency kindness is replaced with loving kindness the soul is impacted. It grows lighter and is set free. 

I think kindness and forgiveness are related. Jesus taught us to pray and included the scariest, hardest line of all: "Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us." Think seriously about that prayer when praying it. He doesn't take it lightly. 

To be forgiven in the portion we forgive. Yes...scary stuff...but not to be ignored because it was how Jesus modeled prayer. Asking forgiveness and forgiving others we feel have wronged us...or even those we know without a doubt are have done wrong. Forgiveness allows us to unload the burden of bitterness to make room for loving kindness to take its place.  

I adore this image.  Can you feel the lightness in both souls. He studies her steps with serious patience.  She may be concentrating but in her heart...she is skipping because this young man is gifting her with his time, his hand and a piece of his heart.  Five minutes is probably all the time it will take of his time...but the ripple into her day in immeasurable. 

We were created in His image, so the impact of lifestyle kindness on our hearts does not surprise our Lord. He healed, forgave, offered hope and even raised the dead.  

Living in His grace requires that we live in love. Crazy love. Love that doesn't make sense. Love not for the market return, but for the sake of loving the way Jesus instructed us to love. 

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ - Matthew 24:37-39

In his eyes, we are all neighbors. Not just the people on our street or the ones we like. An act of kindness can give us a rush.  A kindness lifestyle is at times tiring and there is not always a return the world can measure.  Good thing there is an alternative measuring cup. Matthew 6 is full of direction on just that matter.   

"Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." - Matthew 6:1

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. - Matthew 6:19-20

A kindness lifestyle is best rooted in the bottomless well of His love and grace. It is the only way we it can be sustained.  In our own strength...we would be exhausted.  Good thing His strength is not only sufficient...but without restrictions. 

In His love...we can love more.  We can be kind.  I want to choose lifestyle over random acts.  I am grateful that it is not a "solo act". With Him, nothing is impossible. 

Be courageous. Be kind. 

Today, I am grateful for those who cast "random acts" of kindness aside and embrace "kindness as a lifestyle".

No comments:

Post a Comment