Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kill Them With Kindness

"I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." ~William Penn

Passage 2 Peter 1:5-7:
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

Passage Proverbs 11:17:
17 A kind man benefits himself,
but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.

Passage Proverbs 14:21

21 He who despises his neighbor sins,
but blessed is he who is kind to the needy

Passage Luke 6:35:
35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Passage 1 Thessalonians 5:15:
15Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

How do you measure success? Is it how much money you make? What kind of house you live in? What kind of job you have? These are all external. Sure it shows the world that you have achieved, but is it really a success? Real successes in life are the kindnesses we show to others - the things we do when no one is looking.

For some reason we seem to be programed to crave external validation. As children we cry "Look at me, look at me!" so that others can see how high we can swing, how fast we can run, how we can ride a bike with no hands.

We have to learn at some point in our lives not to need others' attention to our successes. We should mature to the point where our source of validation moves toward the internal. Where we are able to pat ourselves on the back and know that our accomplishments are more than just how many things we can amass. It is about the kindness that we show to others, the shoulder we lend, the hand that reaches out, the ear that listens - those are the measures of real success in life.

So, go out today and commit a random act of kindness. Notice how good it makes you feel? That's what I'm talking about.