I’ve been reflecting on kindness for a couple weeks – it’s a rare thing to find on the internet especially. Although I’m posting this on the internet, my real aim is to stir up more kindness in the Body of Christ – in our church, in your church.
A few of us have been talking about how so few of us reciprocate kindness. You know what I’m talking about… we invite people over, they never invite us over. We call them, they don’t call us. I believe kindness is a form of mercy and the Bible teaches that we can stop the flow of mercy if we don’t share it ourselves. Kindness that comes to you must quickly flow through you. We kill it when we keep it. It has a short shelf life.
To reciprocate means to return in kind or degree. I’ve been thinking of the reasons we don’t reciprocate kindness. I hope you can add to my list and that you’ll be brutally honest…
1. We are too busy or tired, or we assume they are (Are you giving off a vibe that you are too busy for somebody? Maybe it’s like the pretty girl who never gets asked out on a date. Maybe people are incorrectly assuming your social calendar is already full and so they don’t call you. I struggle with the flip side of this – fatigue – how many more people can I call? Really, I’ve answered 50 emails since my kids left for their two week internship a week ago last Sunday, and yet I haven’t emailed them. If we can’t meet our family commitments, how can we do anything more for others?
2. We are embarrassed to have people in our home – too messy? Or, we don’t have the money.
3. We’ve been hurt or rejected before
4. We possess a sense of entitlement, others are there to bless us.
5. We don’t want to open the door to one who needs more from us than we are willing/able to give.
6. We are unaware of what we have to offer
7. We are irritated by other aspects of those being kind to us.
If you are one who has extended yourself to others and kindness has not been reciprocated back to you, how do you keep from being offended?