put it on and wear it out

The best feeling really is when somebody says something kind to me. I'm serious, kindness is important to me.

Kindness. When I started writing this, it was Wednesday afternoon and I was feeling really encouraged after my refreshing moment. On my walk I walked into a great store that held beautiful decor. I wandered around and the employee working came over and asked if I needed anything. I told her I was just browsing, but that her display was beautiful, and that I had walked past, stopped, admired, and came in.

It was really simple.
It didn't take anything on my part to share.
It was kindness.

She smiled and said thank you and seemed genuinely affected by my words.

I don't say that to boast, but to kindly ask you, when was the last time you just told somebody that they were doing a good job?

If you're anything like me, you thrive on receiving encouragement. I love me some kind words spoken TO ME.

And so I speak them out as often as I can, because that's the way I receive love.

While it might not seem like a lot, the ESV Bible counts kindness 29 times in the Bible.

In Colossians, kindness is spoken of in a put on kindness kind of way.
    Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:12-17

I like that. Because to a certain extent, kindness isn't natural on us or a part of us.

I've realized this when people push and shove to get to the front of wherever they'd like to go.
I notice this when people speak profanities towards other people.
I hear this in sarcasm and passive aggressive tones.
I watch this in my friends when somebody hurts them.

We have to put kindness on because without intentionally putting it on and living it out, we are probably without it.

Kindness obviously looks different for everybody. The way I view kindness and show kindness might not be the way you do, and might not even look like kindness.

Kindness can be a hug during a broken moment.
Kindness can be a word of truth when lies are being spoken.
Kindness can be a meal made in a busy season.
Kindness can be no words at all.

The first act of kindness, well maybe not the first, but definitely one of the firsts ones, of God was when He clothed Adam and Eve. God is not one to let us sit in our shame, which is what Adam and Eve experienced after sinning and realizing that they were naked. God is not the god of shame. He is the One True God, and He clothes His children with many things, namely righteousness.

It should be no surprise that a synonym of kindness is grace.

I see kindness as grace in action.
Godly kindness is looking at a situation and figuring out how to share the grace of God with it.
Kindness looks away from self toward others.
Kindness is intentional. Kindness requires intention.

Kindness is seen to be the opposite of envy.
And oh that envy, she's a nasty little one. Envy is creepy and doesn't even require intention. She's great at showing up, and I'm even greater at looking for her.

Kindness is looking at envy and saying no thanks, I choose love.

Another synonym of kindness is godsend.

Now that, that's just beautiful isn't it?
A godsend is defined as "a desirable or needed thing or event that comes unexpectedly".

People shouldn't be surprised that we are kind, but maybe, just maybe, we should all surprise people with our kindness.

    Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
        will find life, righteousness, and honor.
Proverbs 21:21

What's your favourite story of somebody being kind to you? How do you live out a life filled with kindness?