Show kindness even if you’re not feeling it

I always wonder why God loves this planet of humans.

Just turn on the TV, hop on the Internet (or drive in rush hour traffic) and you’ll see plenty of examples of humans behaving badly, being cruel, inconsiderate, unkind, hateful…not even remotely compassionate.

We hear of humans doing compassionate things, say when there is a huge hurricane and flood in Houston. The Red Cross donations spike. The internet is full of human kindness one post at a time. It makes me think…maybe we are learning how to truly love one another.

Then, the next day, seemingly nice people are calling their fellow neighbor, friend, coworker, awful names. Hating on people for living their life that is different than ours, who they voted for, their religion, or the color of their skin.

We say we should respect one another’s opinion. It’s a nice thought. We talk-the-talk but we’re not walking in kindness and understanding. And, I realize we aren’t learning anything.

The way people act sometimes has me searching for my faith in humanity.

I listen to Ted Talks on my phone. Have you heard of this? (I am not changing the subject, I promise. Stick with me.)

I am a little obsessed. Since I have a very long commute, I download the audio of these Ted Talks on the app and listen on the way to work. Even my teenager loves them.

The “talks” range from 3 minutes to 15 minutes and the topics are vast. Faith, creativity, technology, science, Alzheimer’s, bullying, business, cars, movies, parenting, bees…there are a plethora of categories. I will probably write a post on bees soon. Just warning you!

Which leads me to a talk I want to share with you today. It’s titled, “Megan Phelps-Roper: I grew up in Westbrook Baptist Church. Here’s why I left.”

Megan shares her story of holding her first picket sign at 5-years-old, screaming hatred to those she deemed sinners. She wasn’t showing the love of Christ, quite the opposite. Then something strange happened. Through the Twitter community, a true dialogue of undstanding and kindness happened. One that helped her see how to really show the love of Christ with those around her. She left the church…and her family.

“When you’re intentional about searching for understanding and common ground, you’ll be better at engaging people with opposing ideas on the merits — instead of the mental caricatures humans often form of one another.” ~Ted Talks

Megan honestly shares what it was like to demonize those not a member of her church. It is truly a touching story. She also gives some helpful tools when dealing with people who have very polarizing ideals other than our own. This will help keep the conversation going…not turn ugly, or violent.

* * * * * * *

We are either kind, or we are not. We can’t pick and choose who we show kindness too. We can’t only show kindness to the people we like, or who are like us. We either show kindness to our mean neighbor, the jerk who cut us off in rush hour traffic, Trump protesters (on either side of the line), or we show kindness to nobody.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

We can’t choose who we are kind too, we can only choose to be kind. It starts with us.

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