Last week I observed that kindness also includes letting less patient drivers ahead of you in traffic. Interestingly, the responses I received in large part felt that that was just a little bit too kind. In other words, many felt that it wasn’t right to allow the “ditching” drivers in who didn’t want to wait their turn.
I thought about it and actually I think the HaShem lesson here is to show us that kindness is learned in those very situations that we find hard to be kind. Along the lines of the challenge of loving our enemies, being kind to those who may not “merit” kindness when our patience is tried is perhaps the greatest evidence of true kindness. In the smallest acts of kindness may be expressed the greatest gift of its presence.
Similarly, it is in the seemingly trivial matters that the most growth toward walking with Yeshua may occur. Think of a situation where you are feeling very frustrated and venting to a person you feel has done something hurtful toward you. If he or she acts defensive, or even if he says he understands, it is often not that helpful in relieving your sadness, or even anger. But if the person acknowledges he did something wrong, just that small act of repentance often has a huge effect, creating a palpable release in our spirits. For it is in these unnoteworthy interchanges that we experience the greatest redemption.
“I can’t believe you did that. That really hurt my feelings!”
“I’m sorry. I was so tired.” (Defensive and not helpful)
“It was the situation. I had no choice.” (Defensive and not helpful)
“But you told me . . . ” (Really not helpful)
“I’m so sorry I did that. That was hurtful.” (A kind response)
I challenge you this week to strive for kindness when to do so seems difficult, no matter how seemingly small the matter. And in those situations where you think a wrong trivial, unjustifiable, or even not your fault, work even harder to acknowledge your share of the relationship dynamic. The power released in such an act of kindness is unstoppable in making our lives in Him a reality.