Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! So why are we talking about kindness when it's time to be thankful? Ah, think about it.
We all know we should count our blessings on Thanksgiving. But when those 'blessings' gather round the table together.....
Thankfulness might escape the kitchen faster than the stove fan sucks up smoke from burned-on gravy.
This Thanksgiving, when our odd assortment of cranky cooks, grumpy grandpas, and rowdy rugrats require an extra dose of kindness, remember what God says.
"Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation." Proverbs 3:3-4
Be kind in the face of developing disagreements, differing views on disciplining the children or determining doneness of the turkey, and debates on politics and religion.
As we enter the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, we'll inevitably encounter enemies on all sides - attacks while reaching for the last sale item, assaults by aggressive sales clerks, and aims for our place in line.
If shopping on Black Friday, bless your heart.
So what's a mild-mannered man, woman, or child to do?
Kill 'em with kindness.
"If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink. You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads and the Lord will reward you." Proverbs 25:21-22
Distract the vermin with food and drink to leave the best sales for the rest of us.
But seriously, BE KIND. Literally, shame will burn their heads and hearts when someone they've mistreated is kind in return.
When Cousin Cruella criticizes our lumpy mashed potatoes, we can compliment her pumpkin pie as smooth as silk.
When Brother Boorish barks at little Leon, we can soothe our child and explain that his uncle wants him to be a well-mannered young man.
Kindness overlooks offense. It points out the positive. And it negates the negative.
Sometimes it's easier with strangers than with the rude relatives who rile us year after year. Yet with strangers, we might not expect to ever see that person again.
However, they may visit your church or business next week.
In the choice between kindness and callousness, don't be a doormat, but neither be cold-hearted. Release the last sale item, resign to the sales talk, and relinquish the place in line.
Assume the other person needs that item, that commission, or that spot more than we do. Maybe that's the only toy their kid asked for and they can't really afford it. Maybe making the sales quota means keeping their job. Or maybe they're injured and waiting in line hurts like the dickens.
Maybe not. Maybe we're the ones with the tight budget or the job scare or the injury.
But we can be the better person. It might heap shame on their head that motivates them to be better people too.
"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!" Galatians 5:22-23
How have you killed it with kindness?
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