Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cruel To Be Kind

When you think of being kind, what comes to your mind? This is a discussion I have been having with others lately. The answers have been as varied as the individuals. I must confess I myself seem to have a perverted sense of just exactly what this word means.

According to the dictionary, the word kind means:

1. Of a friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature.
2. Showing sympathy or understanding; charitable: a kind word.
3. Humane; considerate: kind to animals.
4. Forbearing; tolerant.
5. Generous; liberal.
6. Agreeable; beneficial.

The reason that I bring this up is a study I have been doing on the Fruit of the Spirit. One of the characteristics listed is kindness. I have put this study down because I have realized that I do not want to be kind. I consider it a sign of weakness. I see kind people pushed around all day and I do not want that to be me. But God desires that I be a kind person.

I keep running all these scenarios in my mind and I always seem to feel angry and defensive just thinking about them. To be kind in the face of rudeness or verbal abuse or just plain indifference is a very daunting task.

To be kind I have to be forbearing when my husband speaks to me in a sharp or condescending tone unnecessarily. I have to have a warm heated nature in spite of the things that are being said or done to me. That is definitely not in my nature. I am more apt to tell you exactly what I think and can be quite sharp in doing so.
I do not want to come across as a cold hearted person but at the same time I do not want to be a doormat either.

Kindness is more about actions to me but I am coming to the realization that kindness is about words and attitude also. Some of the people I have spoken with have politeness confused with kindness. While I do feel that these two things can go hand in hand, I also think you have have one without the other.

I tend to use my work environment as an excuse for being unkind. The problem with that is that Christ walked with the lowest of the low and still remained kind.That tells me that it is possible to be kind regardless of your environment. I also want to use my past as a crutch. While my past has shaped me it does not have to rule me.

I am not sure if I will be able to understand enough to conquer my trepidation over this issue. I do know that God has convicted me about this and if I am to progress in my journey, I must make some changes in my thinking.

1 Comment:

  1. Tracy said...
    It's cool to see how deeply you're thinking on this; obviously God's spirit is doing something in you. There's an expression that my old boss used to use regarding me - "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness". Sometimes, because I do seek to be kind and understanding, people would try to "get over" on me; but then I would have to come back clear and let them know, as unemotionally & politely and very clearly, how things had to be. It's a difficult balance to be sure, and I'm more grateful than I can ever say for God's Spirit and power at work within me. As I think about it, I used to deal with frustration in this area frequently, but as I seek to be centered in God, extremely clear with others about what is acceptable, and know that I can only do what I know is right (and have no control over anyone else's actions), it's become much easier for me.

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