Be the Spark
We live in an age of selfishness, greed and self-love where it appears that the vast majority of people look out for themselves. The tone in our world, our nation and our churches seems to lean toward the unscriptural Beatitude that says: Do unto others first, before they do it unto you.
Defined acts of genuine kindness are a rare occurrence that surprises all of us when we hear it, see it and read it. It is really shocking when people show kindness toward a stranger, especially to those who are different. Author Mark Twain said: “Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
True religion, real religion, is not about how many doctrines we know or how many Scriptures we can quote, how much tithe and offerings we give or even what denomination we belong to. True religion is a demonstration of our behavior toward our fellow man.
Mother Teresa, the nun and missionary who famously bestowed kindness, would be a good model to study. But I found a better model—He is the originator of kindness and compassion and 2,000 years after his death, millions still marvel at His acts of kindness. No, it’s not Muhammad, Krishna, Dalai Lama, or Buddha. It is Jesus—a humble, royal child born into poverty, yet one who possessed the character to reach out and touch the untouchable, the unloved, the marginalized, the widow and the downtrodden.
Matthew 10:8 illustrates the character of a kind, compassionate soul. To approach a leper with that dreaded incurable disease was a violation of Levitical law, but we see Jesus willing to violate an unjust and inhumane law to show kindness and bring healing to a human being. The law mandated a wall of separation, but Jesus tore down the wall as we must be willing to do to show kindness.
There are three traits that Jesus demonstrated to His disciples and to all of us: 1) It’s worth taking the risk to show kindness. 2) “Be kind and compassionate to one another.” Ephesians 4:32. 3) The true attribute of a follower of Christ is to be compassionate and kind before trying to be politically correct.
Let’s be that rare Christian who is willing to follow in His footsteps instead of following the noise that comes from the bleachers of selfishness. Let’s determine that we will be the spark that ignites the flames of kindness in our neighborhoods, our churches, our conferences, our church boards and our homes. Let’s be kind even to those who don't deserve it and “Overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:2.
By Calvin L. Watkins, President