Growing up, especially in the south, we all heard phrases like, “You catch more flies with honey” or “kill ‘em with kindness.” When someone crosses us, though, our flesh can so easily push us toward the opposite response. If a person is insulted, it’s a basic human reaction to put up a defensiveness that in turn, most likely prevents any sort of resolution.
As believers, when someone challenges us, are we leaning in to His fruits of the Spirit, or are we giving back the same harshness that was directed at us first? It is so easy to reciprocate the attitude we are given, but friend, don’t we feel better ourselves when we are extending grace? Maybe we were the ones who were short first. Aren’t our days better when we are met with, sometimes even undeserving, kindness?
We never know what battles someone is facing. In order for people to see the light that is Jesus, we have to not only be slow to anger, we must also understand the significance in being kind. Kindness is not an exchange for acceptance or tolerance of poor behaviors or choices. It is simply an opportunity to change the conversation from one of defensiveness to one more likely to be heard by everyone.
There are so many areas of peoples’ lives in which stress, worry, fear, or pain can easily take over if we allow it. While stress itself isn’t sinful, a life filled with worry isn’t a life God desires for us.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
In order to pull people toward Him, we have to lean into His goodness. We have to fill our hearts with truth that comes from being in His word. We have to take a breath and let Him be the one to direct us. Sometimes the best way to ease some of the anxiety for someone else is to just be kind.