Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgives us (Ephesians 4:32.)
Being kind to each other is one of the hardest things to do because you have to become selfless, thoughtfully display tact and understand the other’s point of view or state of mind or situation. As human beings we are not very good at thinking before we speak, tweeting or commenting on any platform.
In the past being kind and displaying gentleness has been seen by some as showing signs of weakness. To challenge someone who is being mean or bullying takes courage and a great display of empathy and understanding.
So I find it difficult when the comment “we must be kinder to each other” just trips easily off the tongue and pens of people.
It takes hard work to be kind and compassionate; we have to educate ourselves and others to understand each other.
We have to take responsibility for our words and actions, not just for a short time but for a lifetime. Showing kindness, and gentleness, demonstrates great moral courage and strength of mind.
As Christians we are able to ask help and learn from the example of Christ. That does not mean we always get it right, far from it, but we try, with the help of God, to show kindness to all – whoever they are. Not just to the people we find it easy to treat well. Being kind to others involves, at its heart, NOT being judgemental.
As we are about to begin the season of Lent we begin a journey to Easter, focusing on inward reflection and asking for forgiveness for not being the people God wants us to be.
So I finish with this prayer:
Help us to show kindness and compassion to everyone,
Enable us to understand our motivations and change our behaviour, so that we take responsibility for our actions.
Help us to challenge bad behaviour, by showing the world there is another way of living.
Help us show our Faith in Action.
In the name of Christ.
Rosie Buxton, CRCW minister, Huddersfield