5 ways to be kind this March
In a world where you can be anything, #bekind
The tragic death of TV presenter Caroline Flack, aged just 40, sent waves across the UK. In the days that followed, many called for tighter laws against the media amid claims that certain publications had vilified her, while friends of the Love Island host shone a spotlight on one of Flack’s Instagram posts, which read: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind”. The #bekind hashtag quickly began trending, with a particular focus on supporting those with mental health issues.
So how can we cultivate kindness this month and beyond?
- Provide safe refuge. If you know people who are being persecuted or are struggling financially, mentally or emotionally, offer them hospitality in your home and sanctuary in your church. Be a listening ear and a voice of justice on their behalf. Love them the way you’d want to be loved if you or your children were in their shoes. Psalm 36:7 says: “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.”
- Speak tenderly. Watch what comes out of your mouth. Ask yourself, “Is this kind?” before you say a word. Deal with anger and bitterness. Forgive quickly and love sacrificially. Ephesians 4:31-32 says: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
- Love the way that God loves. Read the love chapter (1 Corinthians 13) as often as you can this month. Love isn’t a wishy-washy emotion that makes your heart flutter when you see someone cute. It’s about being patient and long-suffering; putting aside pride and being happy for others when they achieve something great; protecting people and being willing to give them a second (and thousandth) chance. In short, it’s not about you! 1 Corinthians 13:4 says: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
- Be kind to those you don’t like. It’s easy to be kind to friends and loved ones, especially if they’re kind in return, but what about those you don’t see eye to eye with? The unpleasant work colleague. The grumpy bus driver. The troublesome sister-in-law. The cold-caller. The kid at church who sits behind you and kicks your chair. The stranger who knocks on your door championing a different faith or political viewpoint. Luke 6:35 says: “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”
- Share the gospel. Of course, the kindest thing we can really do is to tell people who don’t know about the ultimate kindness God showed in sacrificing everything to give us abundant and everlasting life. If you really love people, wouldn’t you want them to know God the way you do, and to share eternity with him? If he was kind enough to save you he can do the same for them! As John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”