Weekday Devotionals

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  Colossians 4:6

Have you ever stopped and thought about the difference between being nice and being kind?
I read a statement recently, “we never lead our enemies to follow Jesus, but we do lead our friends’” and this got me thinking about how we lead our friends. I’ve seen (and on occasion been in the driving seat) others bypass kindness and begin a shouting match, or just talk among themselves about how awful the other side is. We have ranted before we’ve related, deeming the latter too soft on sin. Christians have employed the strategy of winning the combative way, and it’s not working.

It’s time for a new way, Radical Kindness! Not to be accepted but to be faithful. I’m willing to bet that if Christians leaned more into radical kindness and understood more about its revolutionary power, the world would see a side of us that would cause many skeptical and irate folks on the other side to take notice. Our radical gestures of kindness may be rejected. They may be received. But they will not be forgotten.

By kindness, I’m not talking about when you buy a stranger coffee or when you bring in your neighbor’s trash cans or when you tell someone they have food in their teeth. These are nice random acts. But kindness is not a random act. It’s a radical life. Kindness is not limited to grandmothers or Boy Scouts. Never mistake kindness for niceness. Kindness is all over the Bible, plentiful in both Testaments. But you won’t find niceness in the Bible once—nor the word nice, for that matter. Kindness is fierce, brave and daring. It’s fearless and selfless, never to be mistaken for niceness. They’re not the same and never were. Kindness is neither timid nor frail. Niceness is kindness minus conviction. I think we should scrub “nice” from our vocabulary. We need to stop telling children to be nice and instead tell them to be kind, and then tell them the difference.

Kindness is a radical way of living biblically. It’s the natural outcome of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. We exhale kindness after we inhale what’s been breathed into us by the Spirit. Kindness radiates when we’re adamant about living the way of Christ, the way of the Spirit. Kindness displays the wonder of Christ’s love through us. Kindness is after a long day of work going home making two full meals, one for your family and one to pack up and bring to a family in need, an hour away. Kindness is a phone call every day to a friend who has lost the love of their life, even when you have no idea what to say. Kindness is stepping out of your comfort zone and into the uncomfortable zone of another, for a moment, hours, or days. Kindness is also written beautifully in this quote, “Our words should be seasoned with grace (and sometimes they should not even be spoken).” Sometimes kindness is just keeping our words to ourselves.

Niceness may be pleasant, but it lacks conviction. It has no soul. Kindness is certainly not aggression, but it’s also not niceness. Niceness is cosmetic. It’s bland.

Kindness is a dimension of God’s grace through us. It is fierce and passionate. Kindness as Jesus lived it, presents the highest hope for a renewal of Christian civility, a renewal needed now more than ever.

I pose to you this question, How will you be Radically Kind to those around you?

S. Mosca




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