Strong spirits: be kind

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One a scale of one to ten, how kind are you? I know. That's a tough one. It depends on the day, on the situation, on my current attitude. But I believe that being kind is one of the most important things we can do on any given day.

We can learn to be kind. We can choose to be kind. It's really pretty simple, though often, not easy. The more we practice it, the better we get at it. And kindness begets kindness. If I start practicing kindness, it's likely that others will start doing the same.

So what? So kindness is an extension of God's all powerful, never failing love. A love he intends us to practice, and so transform our world for good. Does the world need more kindness? I think the answer is obvious...

"Love is...kind..." the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 13:4)

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Paul again (Ephesians 4:32)

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked." Jesus to his followers (Luke 6:35)

Start where you are, with who is around you. Simple intentional acts of kindness - a smile, a word of greeting, an act of service - can begin to turn your world around. Be kind. Practice kindness.

Gary Schwerin serves as pastor at Caledonia Congregational Church. He is also the Spiritual Development Minister for the YMCA of the Rock River Valley and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries of Rockford. Prior to launching Bridge Ministries, Gary spent many years in leadership with Young Life. His columns appear here every Sunday - subscribe to our daily email so you don't miss any.

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