By Niki Martin
This is the final post in our blog series on the Cairn values. This week, Niki explores what it means for us to be kind…
How kind are you? One of the values of Cairn is to show kindness to one another. Sometimes the act is perhaps easier to write about than actually do in 21st Century living!
Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul, and to love your neighbour as yourself. We can say we love someone, but it truly is only in our action of kindness that this love can be demonstrated practically. There are so many references to kindness in God’s word. One of my favourite verses is found in Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”. In our success driven culture these attributes can often be seen as weak and definitely missing, but as God’s dearly beloved he is asking us to put these on as clothing that people see.
How do we do that? Often kindness can be shown by our hospitality – regular love in the home, welcoming friends and strangers. It can be seen when we show God’s grace and mercy. The unconditional love of the Father as seen in Ephesians 2:7 – “in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus”. Kindness was given as a gift to us through Jesus and we can freely give it away to others, offering that same gift.
To practically give it away, it starts in our minds and hearts. Let’s have total integrity by having kind thoughts, because we can only radiate that kindness and compassion when we have guarded our hearts and minds.
The act of kindness is often demonstrated simplistically but has huge impact. The card received, the encouraging word, the hug of support, or the flowers given have often restored my soul and we see it constantly being demonstrated by Jesus – the healing touch, the kind word, or his forgiving nature.
Let’s not strive in our kindness but let’s actively clothe ourself daily, until it becomes a habit, until it then radiates from us naturally.