Thursday, August 5, 2010

Simpering Politieness vs. Kindness

As Christians we are instructed to be kind. We are to be kind, we are to be loving, we are to put the best construction on things and not act in anger. I get this. We should strive to be kind. If we must correct someone, let us be gentle and kind in our correction, for we seek to restore, not to destroy.

However, the kindness taught in the Scriptures is not a simpering politeness where we speak empty words to each other. Kindness is not ignoring another's err. Kindness is not putting a best construction that is not true. Being kind isn't doing whatever possible to avoid offending a person no matter what they are doing - being kind is striving to do and say what is best for your neighbor, even if at first blush they won't like to hear it.

There are times when I myself am wrong, when I am stupid, when I am foolish, rude, and arrogant. In those times, don't smile and pat me on my hand and tell me how wonderful I am. Right then, I don't need that - your simpering politeness shows me neither love nor true kindness. If I am being a jerk, pull me aside and say to be, "You know I love you, but right now you are being an utter and complete tool." Be kind - strive to restore me to the correct path!

Today, all too often we have replaced kindness with a wishy-washy never-gainsay politeness. This serves no one (of course, being a jerk about how you correct people serves no one either, for it only confirms people in their err while adding a self-righteous martyr complex, but that's another post). Rather, be a friend - a friend who helps to aid a person.

1 comment:

Bill Sterling said...

Kindness is doing what's best for your neighbor. You are right on target with that comment. Bill