The Grace Jar (#2): Be Kind
Kindness. Remember that? Unlike grace, it is one of the fruits of the Spirit.
Kindness, I have discovered, is easy to give, but often forgotten. We get so busy, don't we? Too busy, in fact.
Just the other day I watched an inspirational video in which Rick Warren said, "God did not create you and put you on this earth just to mark things off your 'to-do' list."
Those few words--that one sentence--was like a bat swung at the back of my knees. They nearly toppled me. Why? Because I'm a list-maker.
Nearly at all times, I keep with me a small journal in which, every day, I write down all I have to accomplish in that day. Not necessarily in order, but things that need to be done. And then I cross them out after I complete them.
I write it ALL down ... right down to making the bed and taking a shower and putting on my makeup. Over the years that "to-do" has been shortened to "House/Self" but I know what it means. It means I have to straighten the house and get myself ready for the day.
And getting myself ready for the day means getting a shower, getting dressed, and putting on my face.
"The List" goes all the way back to 1976 when I read the book The Total Woman by Maribel Morgan--a book that was a huge hit and a slap in the face to all the women's libbers. It talked about house-wifery in terms of being the CEO of your own home. At least until the real president walked in the door ...
I didn't agree with everything Morgan wrote about (no Saran Wrap for me!) but I did agree with her encouragement to make a list every morning to cut down on wandering aimlessly through my day asking, "Now what do I need to do next?"
That list also lessens my chances of being frustrated by all that I have to accomplish.
But then ... according to Warren ... God did not place me here to just accomplish stuff. God placed me here to be ... what? In relationship with Him? To be Him with skin? To show the world what a little kindness can do?
And, if I am less frustrated, isn't showing kindness a little bit easier?
One of the first mentions of kindness (if not the first) in the New Testament (and it is only mentioned roughly 11 times) is in the story of Peter and John who are standing before the rulers and elders of the people, called to make an account of how it was a lame man, having been touched by them, could now walk. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, replied, If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame ... then know this ... it is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth ... that this man stands before you healed (Acts 4).
An act of kindness ... in the name of Jesus ... healed.
One small act.
One simple touch.
One act of kindness.
Today ... today I will endeavor to do the same. One simple act of kindness. A small payment, I think, to help fill up my Grace Jar again. And who will be more blessed?