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Be kind to the unkind - TUESDAY MARCH 21

‘Pray for those who mistreat you.’ Luke 6:28 NIV (2011 Edition)

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught, ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you’ (vv. 27-28 NIV 2011 Edition). Then He added, ‘Your reward will be great’ (v. 35 NIV 2011 Edition). God sees, He records, and He’ll reward you for every kind act you do. It’s easy to be kind to those who are kind to us, but you must grow in grace in order to be kind to the people who mistreat you.

In the comic strip Nancy, the character Sluggo once told Nancy, ‘That new kid in school is nothing but a big fathead!’ Nancy replied, ‘You shouldn’t call people names like that. I never call people names.’ Sluggo replied, ‘Well, I just got mad when he said you were stupid looking.’ Whereupon Nancy demanded, ‘What else did that big fathead say?’ It’s easy to react to acts of kindness with kindness. The real challenge is responding with kindness to those who lack it.

In 2009, tired of the vicious attacks politicians make against each other and the talking heads in media who label people ‘ignorant, stupid, and dumb’ because they don’t espouse their political philosophy, Mark DeMoss launched a movement known as the Civility Project. Its pledge goes like this: ‘I will be civil in my public discourse and behaviour. I will be respectful of others whether or not I agree with them. I will stand against incivility when I see it.’ It’s a good policy to adopt! Every one of us has a ‘kindness kit’ we carry with us everywhere we go. It’s better known as our tongue. Never underestimate the power of one kind word.