I spent a lot of time over the weekend studying, thinking, and praying about Kindness. On Saturday evening I heard someone make a passing point of how “Loyalty” and “Kindness” were many times mentioned together throughout the Bible and especially in the Old Testament. That thought immediately hit pay dirt in my mind and got me to thinking of how that was true in many of our experiences.
Proverbs 19:22 in the God’s Word © translations says “Loyalty is desirable in a person, and it is better to be poor than a liar.” The King James Version calls it “kindness” while other translations call the desirable trait “mercy, grace, steadfast love, or charity.” My immediate recollection was that the individuals who were less than kind to us were folks I considered to be loyal family members and church friends. Seeing it from this angle helped me to understand that the reason I was shocked was because of their lack of loyalty to us in our time of emergency.
When I expected, hoped and really needed comfort and support, I felt criticism, judgment and neglect. I think what really stung the most was not the vengeful words toward me, but the way they suddenly avoided Piper! I suffered through a lot of angry, frustrating and confusing emotions when individuals that my upbeat, gentle and loving wife had ministered to through the years, suddenly ignored her when we walked through the hallway before and after church, or when close family members hardily called, neglected come by to visit, or even offer to assist her.
One of the many things I have learned through all of this and by looking at my own past behavior is that Kindness and/or Loyalty take a risk! The people involved have to risk stepping out of their comfort zones to do things they may not be comfortable with, to make other people’s needs a priority in their own busy schedules, and to put aside one’s own ideas just to love on someone else without any strings attached, without any judgment, criticism and complaining.
Many folks want and for some reason think that they have the right to give their opinion for the situations in others lives, but never give an actual helping hand! These same folks are the ones who want to receive the benefits of Kindness and/or Loyalty without taking any of the responsibility of it. Kindness and/or Loyalty is another one of those action words. It is not just empty words spoken on the phone or written in a card.
So what do you think? Are you ready to take the risk with acts of Kindness and/or Loyalty this week? Are you brave enough to step out of yourself and reach out to someone without having a personal agenda in mind? I think that some of those that have blessed me the most are those few individuals that have exhibited extreme acts of Kindness and/or Loyalty to my wife by just sitting there quietly, holding hands with Piper and not saying a thing! Sometimes, just taking the time to be there is the best medicine of all! We don’t have to have all the answers or be able to say all the right things… just knowing that you are there for the one in need is the best gift ever!
Have a great week. Be Kind and be Loyal to those you love, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting today?”