2015 has been quite the year! Throughout these past 12 months I have been on a personal study of the word “KIND”. You can read about that decision HERE. My eyes have been open to the kindness around and in me. However, at first it seemed I was mainly aware of UNkindness.
Have you noticed how negative our society can be? The daily news bombards us with doom and gloom reporting. TV and social media is full of backstabbing, criticism, lying, and cheating. Workplaces become a battle ground of gossip, jealousy, and sometimes a celebration of someone’s failure. It was disheartening to recognize the magnitude of this ugliness. In the midst of these observations I was reminded that my word is “Kind” not “unkind”, and Ephesians 4:32 became my verse for the year.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
I soon changed my focus to:
- Intentionally looking for kindness in others
- Expressing my appreciation when I witness kindness
- Working on my attitude and behavior to be kind
Kind is a willingness to do good or give pleasure, a sympathetic attitude towards others, having a good or benevolent nature or disposition, considerate, helpful.
One day as I was subbing, I had a student that was being a pest to anyone that came near him. In fact, he had a girl in tears from his unkind words before the morning bell rang! Our day was not off to a great start, and I dreaded what might take place at morning recess. I breathed a quick, “Thank you, Jesus.” prayer when the boy left the basketball game to play with another student. As the class was lining up to return to class, I quietly told the boy I noticed and appreciated how kind he was on recess. The rest of the day was near perfect, and I have not seen the negative behavior on days I’ve been back in his classroom.
Opportunities to be kind present themselves every hour of the day. Growing up, my mom often said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!” I oftentimes know very little of the trials others are dealing with. They may be having the very worst day of their life, and I have a choice. I can encourage or discourage.
“Love is patient and kind” 1 Corinthians 13:4a.
This word study has been a great and challenging exercise, but more than that it is an ongoing life changer. It takes time and practice to overcome and rise above negativity. My goal was not to merely recognize kindness, but for my life and love to be overflowing with kindness. I have not yet accomplished that goal; I am a work in progress.
Did you choose a word for the year? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Will you be choosing a word for 2016? What will it be?