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August 4, 2015
Happy August friends!! If you’re continuing the Be Better Challenge with us, welcome back and THANK YOU for coming along on this incredible journey! If you’re just joining the challenge, welcome!! Last month’s challenge was all about being there. And this month’s challenge will be all about being friendly!! Proverbs 18:24 says “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly.” And I feel that it is true. If you want to have friends, you have to be a friend! This month I’ll be breaking down some of the many ways we can be friendly to one another. One way we can be friendly is to…
Be kind! Enough said? Perhaps I can say a little bit more. Kindness has to do with how we treat others when they are most undeserving. In church we would equate kindness with grace. It is that wonderful quality that honors one even though that person does not treat you as you desire. It’s holding in your word-vomit, even when you’re compelled to “say it like it is”, if the expression could possibly bruise the spirit of the other person.
There is a type of charity that is anything but kind. This type gives benefit to another but does so in a condescending manner. It’s the type of kindness that throws it back in the beneficiary’s face and says through action “Look at how I helped you.” This type of kindness looks for praise from others and unfortunately gains kudos at the expense of the person in need.
Being kind means to be considerate of the feelings of others. It never seeks to hurt and would never embarrass the other. And even though it might feel good to seek revenge, true kindness seeks to extend a little grace, and handle offenders with gentleness and restraint.
Allow me to make some kindness suggestions for this week:
1) Look for opportunities to feed the homeless or to help someone in need. Your local Salvation Army, Homeless shelter, or church is ALWAYS looking for volunteers. When I was a kid, every Christmas morning, we would go tot the local shelter and feed and take gifts to the guests before we could ever open our own gifts. This ritual gave true meaning to our holiday and increased our joy and appreciation for all that we had and how blessed we truly were, and still are. But the truth is, you don’t need to wait until Christmas to lend a helping hand…start today! There’s never a moment when someone is not in need, especially in the world we live in today.
2) Always think, “What if the shoe was on the other foot.” We constantly have to think about treating other people the way we want to be treated. It’s easier said than done I know. As humans, we’re not programmed to look outside ourselves. It doesn’t come naturally to put the needs of others above our own. It’s hard work!! But it’s necessary work. Think if the tables were turned and you hurt someone the way they hurt you. It may be gratifying for a moment, but I know I would be haunted by the fact that I went out of my way to hurt someone else, and that I would have to live with that for the rest of my life. That doesn’t sound good, does it? I find that thinking about how the other person feels before I react in a particular situation helps disagreements remain more civilized, and makes friendships more meaningful. Think before you act, and always treat others the way you would expect them to treat you.
3) Engage in random acts of kindness. Open a door for someone. Help an elderly lady or man across the street. Let a new mom who’s baby is screaming in the check out line, cut in front of you (to the lady who let me do this the other day, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!). Write a note of encouragement to an unsuspecting recipient. Take a friend who’s been having a tough week out to lunch and listen to them vent. And the list goes on. No matter what the kindness may be, understand that it’s so much bigger than you. Kindness is infectious. And instead of waiting to catch it from someone else, YOU be patient zero! Be a trendsetter and be kind. Your kindness will be a blessing to so many people…more than you could ever know.
Comment below or on Facebook sharing how you extend a little bit of kindness this week! If you post a picture, make sure to #bebetterchallenge #befriendly #bekind ! I can’t wait to see all your acts of kindness and friendliness!!