Pelham Road Baptist Church | Greenville, SC

Making a Difference

It Starts with Being Kind

“John McCain was not a war hero.”

Why would anyone say something like that? What has happen to our discourse when we knowingly say something we know is not true in order to further our agenda?

I’m driving and this car pulls up beside me and “shoots me the bird.” I’m 50 at the time and the other driver is old enough to not be controlled by hormones. Does he thinks he has the power to “send me” there? I didn’t think I did something wrong, but let’s say I did—–how does his reaction improve the situation?

What has come to my attention in recent years is how we have forgotten our mother’s first commandment and further we have forgotten the first verse of scripture we learned in the preschool department.

Be ye kind one to another (Eph. 4:32).

There is nothing wrong with disagreement. There is something wrong with not treating each other with respect. It appears to me the temperature is rising and it is not limited to our public discourse it bleeds over into our private lives.

Spouses are unkind to each other. Teenagers are unkind to each other. Supervisors are unkind to their co-workers. Even in church we find people who instead of having honest civil conversations disregard scripture and their up-bringing and act unkind to make their point.

In the aftermath of the Charleston shooting Governor Nikki Haley said something concerning the confederate flag that needs highlighting, “We are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer. … The fact that it causes so [much] pain is enough to move it from the capitol grounds.” She’s correct, when it is within our reach, we should do the kindest thing possible. If the choice is between being right or being kind, follow Jesus—be kind FIRST. Instead of inflicting pain we are called to do the kind thing.

We need a revival. A revival of kindness. From our civil discourse to our kitchen discourse. From the jokes we tell to the way we drive. We should start with our mother’s question——before we speak or act, let’s ask ourselves, “Is this kind?”

This does not eliminate disagreements but maybe it will keep them from escalating to a gun fight like in Waco, Texas this summer. Kindness alone will not solve the problems between the political parties or in the cultural wars. Nevertheless the temperature will lower and mole hills will not become mountains when we  practice Ephesians 4:32.

Be ye kind one to another

There are no winners when we poison discourse with unkindness or when we refuse to offer kindness to those in need.  The biggest loser—-well that’s humanity. The reason we are in this mess is because we have forgotten our message, we have become silent and allowed things to happen that ought not happen and for things to be said which should not be spoken. Whatever happened to DIVINE “kindness?” The Christian response, to change, different opinions, and problems—–“Be ye kind one to ANOTHER” (Eph. 4:32).

When we say or do unkind things. Everyone’s anger increases. When we make another suffer they will not suffer alone. They will come back on us, in word or deed. This is a recipe for conflict, this is how to destroy a home, a church, a community, or a nation. If this is not the outcome we desire then the remedy is clear, “Be ye kind one to another.”