Kindness is at the very heart of God. Proverbs 19:22 says "What is desired in a man is kindness." Yet in today's society we see far more greed, road rage and domestic violence. Sadly even in the church there is no shortage of religious spirited people who are mean and vicious. Yet Scripture says that God is kind (Rom. 2:4).
The latest issue of Readers Digest devotes much of the issue to the subject of kindness—suggesting that kindness actually helps us live longer and happier lives. Most people create their own worlds; in fact most people will respond to you the way you treat them.
Several years ago, Jan and I had flown into the USA for a series of meetings. We arrived late at night and I was to rent a car and drive several hours to the city where we were to minister the next day. As I approached the desk of the rental car agency I heard the young lady attendant say, "I'm sorry but we are out of cars and it will be several hours before we have any available!" Great, I thought. It was already past midnight and I still had two hours to drive and now there were no cars available.
As I was struggling to hold back from voicing my frustration to this young lady, a very rude man stepped in front of me and began to unleash one of the strongest verbal tirades I have ever heard. I mean this man had studied the subject of rude and had passed with flying colors. I watched the young lady wilt under this verbal assault. Her lip trembled and I thought she was about to cry. When it was my turn the rude man had said it all. What could I add?
Then the Lord spoke to me and said, "Why not show a little kindness? She doesn't need anymore criticism." And so I was as nice to the young lady as I could be. "That was the rudest man I have ever met," she said. "You wouldn't believe how rude he was. I'm just doing my job," she said.
"I thought you handled a difficult situation really well." I said. I was nice; I was kind, even though in the natural I was irked over the delay, too. I went and sat down to wait until a car was available. After a few minutes a white Cadillac pulled up out front. The young attendant jumped out, raced in and dropped the keys to the vehicle onto the girl's desk.
"This car's ready!" he said. Now the young lady could give this car to any of the 8-10 people seated waiting, anyone she wanted to! Jan and I had only ordered a medium-sized car. Without hesitation the young lady picked up the keys, walked straight past Mr. Rude and dropped them in my lap. "There's your car, Mr. Stringer!" she said. And then turned in the direction of Mr. Rude and said, (as loudly as she could), "It pays to be nice to people!"
We were the first to leave—driving a beautiful white Cadillac (which I had not paid for). I believe Mr. Rude would have been the last to leave and when he did he was probably driving a Gogomobile! It's interesting that this young lady treated us so differently. She reacted to, and treated us both in the same manner we had treated her.
I got to thinking, if there was a song that best summed up my life what would it be?" The Glen Campbell hit, "Try a little kindness and overlook the blindness of the narrow-minded people, in the narrow-minded streets."
Look at these words of wisdom: "If you are kind to these people, and please them, and speak kind words to them, they will be your servants forever." In this passage of Scripture we find Solomon's (the wisest man who had ever lived) son, Rheoboam, was about to take become king.
Gathering the wise men, he asked how he could best serve his people: "King Rehoboam consulted the elders saying, 'How do you advise me to answer these people?' And they spoke to him, 'If you are kind to these people and speak good words to them, they will be your servants forever'" (2 Chron. 10:7).
Can you imagine a church or business where the people stayed loyal? A marriage where the partners remained faithful? Is such a thing possible? It is if one believes the Bible. The key? Kindness! Could this be the reason that some churches never grow, why some businesses fail, why some marriages end in divorce? Scripture is priceless.
It's a principal for loyalty, be it in business, church or marriage. Kindness—a small word but a powerful force! Kind people live in a kind world; mean people live in a mean world. What sort of world do you live in? Perhaps we can all make this season just a little more pleasant for others by showing more kindness! We really can make a difference!
Jan and I want to take this opportunity to pray God's richest blessings on you and your family for this Christmas and New Year!
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