Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say. 30 Don’t make the Holy Spirit of God unhappy—you were sealed by him for the day of redemption. 31 Put aside all bitterness, losing your temper, anger, shouting, and slander, along with every other evil. 32 Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ (Ephesians 4:29b-32, Common English Bible).
Rick was a union construction worker in Syracuse, New York. As he got older, many parts of the physical job had become more difficult to do. As a result, he was contemplating retirement.
When one considers retirement, there are many things to consider. Primarily, “Do I have enough money to retire and live in comfort for the rest of my life?”
The decision was really hard for Rick. He was on the fence at the moment. He had enjoyed the work for most of his adult life but now it was an incredibly hard to decide to retire from the construction field. On the one hand he had always liked the work but in the other hand, doing the work had become really difficult to do. Could he keep going or was a game for only younger guys.
One day Rick ran into Dave, a younger man he’d worked with a few years before. Dave was a young man with a wife and three children. He hadn’t worked in almost a year and was having a really hard time finding work. As a result, Dave and his wife were having a really hard time making ends meet.
That night, Rick made a decision. He was at the union office the next morning when it opened. He turned in his retirement papers without another thought.
As for his replacement, Rick gave a strong recommendation and the contact information for Dave. Dave interviewed that afternoon. They offered him a job the next day, and he has never looked back.
Since 1998 Dave has worked and cared for his family. He has seen two of his three children graduate from high school. One of them is in college the other choose the military. In the 22 years since, Dave his gotten a paycheck every week.
As for Rick? It didn’t take long for his wife to retire. They bought an R.V. and now tour the country and now they never miss a birthday for one of their grandchildren. They couldn’t be happier.
I wish I could tell you that every time we do something for someone else, every time we are kind to another person, only great things will happen. You and I both know that to be untrue. What I have learned, however, when I perform an act of kindness, I am happier than at any other time. But in order to maintain a feeling of joy, I have to be willing to be kind again and again. I have to make it my intention to be kind to others.
These intentional acts of kindness (last week I told you that I don’t believe in random acts of kindness. The only thing that may be random at all is our finding a situation that we make the decision to be intentionally kind) will impact us in our souls.
I also told you last week that I am tired of seeing kindness pushed to the side, because it is easier to be hard and mean to someone than to be nice than for someone to take advantage of you. Yes, the later might happen but it could be that your action, being nice, could be someone’s difference.
We need a solution and I want to work toward being part of that solution. I want to work at tearing down barriers to kindness. I want to be an advocate of kindness. I want to tell the stories of kindness. I want to point to kindness. I want to tell the good I see in the world. Would you join me in #Operation Kindness?
Seeking the Genuine,
Copyright 2020, J Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved