….and who is my neighbor…..(Luke 10:23)
I’ve been helping my daughter understand the importance of how we talk to one another. Her sassy side comes out quick in how she speaks and correction is needed quite often. I remind her every time, “Adah, we speak to one another with kindness and love.”
I can’t help but think how much our world needs that message for today. Once again, on the basketball court yesterday I had people speaking to me with unkindness. I saw players and coaches speak rudely to one another. There is so little kindness in the world. We forget that loving our neighbor, the one we have the hardest time loving, or the one we don’t really feel like loving is the one that needs our kindness, love and attention the most.
They need our kindness. Our words spoken not from what we feel, but from what we know is right. Friend, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to stop myself, remind myself to be kind and then speak. Because if I don’t, I speak out of my feelings, not out of what is true, lovely and right.
Much of our problem in life isn’t really about what people are saying to us, it’s about what we think of them. Friend, did you hear that? The Lord shows us, with His own words, as He was being mistreated and had abuse heaped down upon Him to extend compassion to those who spoke such unkind words. That doesn’t mean we let their abusive words continue. By all means, we should stop it, but we should never let resentment over the things they said sit in our hearts.
One thing I tell myself when parents or fans are yelling terrible things at me on the court is, “They must have been really hurt in life to have such anger.” This allows me to have compassion for them instead of annoyance. It helps me not take things personally and let it roll off so I don’t let things roll off my tongue right back at them.
So friend, if you want to love your neighbor today, and Jesus reminds us that everyone is our neighbor, even those we don’t necessarily like, go and be God’s kindness to them. It’s one way we can extend His love out into the world.
Lord, you are kind and good. We want to be faithful to you. I stand in your promise today, because you’re faithful. I want to be your kindness to all that I encounter, in Jesus name, Amen.