Three of our nephews and nieces recently became alums of their respective high schools. Three others did the same in recent years and are leading us quickly toward the college graduation stage.
Much like most of the new grads in your family or congregation, our nieces and nephews also embraced the full range of emotions that come with graduation — tinge of sadness to wrap up this season but mainly reflective, appreciative, hopeful and excited to turn the page on a new chapter.
The opportunity to be present for at least one commencement week activity for each of them sent my mind on a memory adventure back to when their sweet personalities first developed and through the various stages as they grew up to become the strong and confident young adults they are today.
Each brings unique and endearing qualities, but one characteristic they all have in common is kindness. I love how each one allows Jesus to shine through them and isn’t afraid of nurturing a compassionate heart.
Can you imagine how many lives they will touch and the difference they will make through the years if they release the full potential of what Jesus can do through them?
The thought truly makes this aunt’s heart smile.
Kindness — why would we not want to own it? Why would we not want to treasure it?
Colossians 3:12 tells us, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
First Corinthians 13:4 notes, “Love is patient, love is kind.”
Galatians 5:22–23 includes kindness as one of the characteristics providing visible proof of the Holy Spirit living within us — “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
A quick search of the word kindness in Scripture brings up plenty more reminders of its importance in the Christian life.
Even outside of Scripture, we can find advocates for kindness. Literature has many examples.
Author Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910), for instance, is known for saying, “Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.”