Ashlee needs no reminder to treat people with kindness because she does that everyday. We work together, so I have the opportunity to observe her in the best of times and the most stressful of times and she is always kind and respectful to others.
But the picture of her tattoo made me think about what it represented. My first thought was the many references to kindness in the Scriptures:
"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up." 1 Corinthians 13:4.
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32.
"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering." Colossians 3:12.
"And to godliness [add] brotherly kindness: and to brotherly kindness charity." 2 Peter 1:7
The most striking of the verses in Scripture regarding kindness however, are those that speak of the Lord's kindness toward us:
"For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord." Psalm 117:2.
"...turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness," Joel 2:13.
"...for I knew that Thou are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness." Jonah 4:2.
None of us need to look to the dictionary for the definition of the word kindness, we know it when we see it. When someone is kind to us, doesn't that make us feel good?
The verb in Ashlee's tattoo really stands out to me..."treat." Now let us look to the dictionary. One of the definitions of the word treat is "to provide with enjoyment or gratification." When someone is kind to us, especially if we didn't expect it, isn't it like receiving a treat? Isn't it something that brings enjoyment?
Many of us have had the experience of giving a treat to a child. Or, in our house these days its giving a treat to our dog. This clearly brings enjoyment to them. We have the ability, the capability to give a "treat" to everyone with whom we come in contact and it takes so little to do so. Kindness is something everyone can give. A smile, a nice word, opening a door, saying "please" and "thank you" are all simple acts of kindness. The opportunities for kindness abound all around us if we will open our eyes to see them.
Let us look for ways to "treat" others with the joy of kindness. It will brighten their day, lighten our own heart and will show the kindness of the Lord to others as we do so.
|Me and Ashlee on Nurses' Day.|