Lately, God has been really dealing with me about the way that society has taught us to deal with one another. We’ve all seen the memes and the self-righteous Facebook updates declaring that from this point forward we should treat people the way that they have treated us or that maybe we should only do as much for others as they have done for us. I’m sure at some point or another I subscribed to this way of thinking but as a Christ-Follower, this way of thinking goes against everything that we claim to believe in. Within the last week or so, I’ve done a lot of observing and people watching. Guys, it’s amazing how often we react to the tiniest of things. When someone’s tone is a little off, when we feel slighted by someone or they fail to acknowledge our presence in the way that we think they should, we begin to treat them with the same level of contempt that we believe they have shown to us. I’m generally a very nice person but I’ve started noticing this is my own behavior. So I have pledged to break up with conditional kindness.
Why do we place conditions on our kindness anyway? Maybe because we don’t feel that certain people deserve it. Maybe because it’s too hard to give love freely to people that have given us ugliness. The Bible speaks to that in Luke 6:35. “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” See, when we let go of conditional kindness we become more Christ-like and we become a better representation of Him and his kingdom. Being kind costs you absolutely nothing, except maybe your pride sometimes, but we all know that pride is a means to self-destruction. So you pretty much have nothing to lose. Within the body of Christ, it is my prayer that the significance of unconditional kindness will touch the hearts of many and spread like a wildfire. Can you imagine how many souls we would win if we were actually kind? Can you imagine if we were known by our love for people alone—not our ability to be judgemental or harshly critical of others? It would be remarkable.
Here’s one more thought: in the end, we will be held accountable for the way that we have treated others; not the way that they have treated us. God is watching our every interaction and we may never know that the encounter that we had with the waiter in our favorite restaurant was a missed opportunity to introduce them to Jesus. It’s a scary thought that being kind can be the difference between sharing Jesus and turning someone away from him. It’s time to take the conditions off of our kindness. Whether a person is mean, nice, saved, or sinner—it doesn’t matter. Be kind.
So, it’s only right that I clear up what unconditional kindness is and is not. Here we go:
Unconditional kindness is:
- Treating people with kindness regardless of anything
- Not expecting a reciprocal reaction for your kindness
- Giving your kindness to any and everyone
- Saying ‘No’ to offense
Unconditional kindness is NOT:
- Allowing people to take advantage of you
- Tolerating toxic relationships
- Being a people-pleaser
One of my favorite sayings of Jesus says, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that (Luke 6:32-33). As the salt and light of the world, we are called to higher and that means showing kindness even in the most difficult times. Let’s all break up with conditional kindness today and commit to love in action and in truth.
What’s one way that you can get rid of conditional kindness today?