March 13, 2017
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. – Proverbs 31:26
During my grade school years, I was over at a friend’s house playing when something happened that left a lasting impression on me. Coming across a box of apples in his garage, I took one—without asking—and was in the process of eating it when his mother found me. She could have angrily scolded me—and she would have been well within her rights. Or, she could have simply overlooked the whole thing, figuring that boys will be boys. But then I would have learned nothing from the incident.
Instead, she did something entirely different—something I have never forgotten. In such a kind way that I scarcely knew I was being reprimanded at all, she talked with me about the importance of not taking things from others without permission. It was not about the apples—she certainly would have given me one had I asked. It was about honesty and integrity. Because of the kind and gentle way in which she handled this, I learned a valuable lesson that has stuck with me throughout my life.
This event happened many years before my mother and I started attending church and gave our hearts to the Lord. Therefore, at that time I did not think in terms of whether my friend’s mom was a born-again Christian or not, although I now know that she certainly behaved in a Christ-like manner towards me. I will not be one bit surprised if I meet her in Heaven one day. If I do, I want to be sure and tell her how much her act of kindness has meant to me through the years!
These days, I am inclined to think that there are more people who “do good deeds” than there are people who behave toward others with kindness. And yet, in my mind nothing exemplifies true Christianity as much as genuine kindness. The obvious question, then, is this: Are we kind to others? The world is filled with self-centered people living their lives just for themselves. Can we find it in our hearts to return grumpy, selfish behavior with kindness? Perhaps in so doing we will be able to impart positive life lessons to others, lessons which will help them in some way to come to a saving knowledge of the Lord.