I confess, I am a huge Ellen de Generes fan. While I do not agree with everthing she stands for (as I don’t agree with many things certain Christian pastors stand for), I appreciate her humour and really enjoy watching her show.
Most TV shows, or maybe I should say rather that TV shows hosts, have a little “signature phrase” they use at the end of their show. Who will ever forget Michael Mol’s “goodnight, Godbless, good bye” or Noleen’s “do join me” or Oprah’s “look under your chair” (okay, it’s not the same, but I had to put it in, right).
Ellen, like the others, has a signature phrase… she ends each show by saying “Be kind to one another”. If I was writing scripture right now, I would insert the word “Selah” – pause, contemplate, think about it.
That’s why I have been doing in the last little while… thinking about kindness. My simple Mac dictionary defines kindness as follows:
Friendly. Generous. Considerate. Words to live by?
I think we underestimate the impact these three words have on society and on the individuals around us that make up society. If Kindness truly is friendliness, generosity and consideration, then you would surely agree that we live in a particularly unkind world – the root of which I believe is selfishness. See, to be friendly means I need to make the effort to smile at someone else, to speak peacefully rather than harshly, to greet others with respect, even when I don’t know them or really want to enter into a conversation. For me, it is difficult to be friendly when I am focusing on my own “stuff” – when I’m thinking about my day, what I have to accomplish, the difficulties I am facing. To be generous means I don’t get to keep everything to myself, but need to share with others, be it material possessions, time or knowledge; it means giving something away that I could also keep for myself. Being considerate means putting the needs and wants of others before my own, and letting someone else experience the joy that I may have experienced, had I not been considerate. See how “Be Kind” really means “Don’t be selfish” ?
I stole Ellen’s line in the first tweet of my day the other morning and encouraged my friends to be kind that day… as you read this, I put the same challenge to you. In all honesty, it may not be natural for you to be kind. Maybe you’re not usually a kind person… it’s not too late to start. Greet the cashier by name, smile at the beggar, let the old lady go in front of you in the queue, open the door for your spouse, show those in your company that you respect them… the list is endless.
To end this off, may I also remind you that the Word says that it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance? (Romans 2:4)