We live in a culture where being right is more valued than being kind. But we are called to something greater and can change the climate around us.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesian 4:32 (ESV)
If you are unfamiliar with what cancel culture is, it is the act of socially smearing and thrusting a person out of social circles because they share different beliefs or values than the group doing the “canceling”. This is an extreme example but positive social relations are becoming less and less common.
I currently have three kids who work in the retail industry and the amount of stories I hear from them about rude customers is deeply troubling. Not only is it extremely draining on my kids, it paints a picture of how people can affect others just by their harsh words.
I do not share words online as often as I used to. I’ve not decided yet if I want to deal with the pushback that comes with freely sharing my thoughts and opinions–or even truth and facts.
When I first started blogging, there would always be a stray commenter or two who wasn’t very kind in sharing their distaste for my beliefs. But today, it’s way more than a comment or two and I’m not sure I’m ready to spend my days trying to clarify my thoughts and justify myself with everyone who disagrees with me.
Sharing words is much, much more challenging than it used to be.
We live in a very tumultuous culture. We are all aware of the stormy climate we tread every single day. I’ve learned it best to keep my beliefs and opinions to myself. It seems it’s the norm to be misunderstood or not heard at all.
How can we navigate this climate of being accused of hate because of having a difference of opinion or belief?
Jesus never asked the world to follow the same values as one who is His disciple. I think it’s important we recognize that first and foremost because when we no longer hold the world to the Christian standard, we are free to love people a whole lot better.
Here are three ways we can live out loving one another:
It’s easy to be kind to those who are kind to us but many times, even kind people don’t receive that courtesy. We just need to be kind and gentle with one another. There really is nothing else to say. Even if someone is rude to us, we don’t have to respond the same way.
Being tenderhearted just means having a bit of grace and understanding for another. Someone could be having a bad day or we could be having a bad day. Let’s not take our frustrations out on one another—yes, this includes strangers! Let’s be courteous to the cashier because we have no idea what he or she has been dealing with before we got to their line. But a smile and a little lighthearted conversation showing that you care really does go a long way.
When someone is rude to us, we have two choices: we can either be rude back or we can instantly forgive and just let the matter go. Forgiveness is more powerful than retaliation.
In His Word
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.
1 Corinthians 13:4
In Your Life
Focus on the opportunities you have to be kind, especially when it’s difficult. These are the opportunities that truly make the biggest impact.
Be the Gift by Ann Voskamp
Ann does such a beautiful job inviting us to be the gift to other people in fresh ways that truly demonstrate kindness.