Back in January my grandfather passed, and at his funeral it was very evident what his legacy was: He loved people, and He pointed them to Jesus. That was what people remembered about him. For almost 2 hours person after person told us how my grandfather was so kind to them, how he loved so much, and how he always made sure people knew how much Jesus loved them. He was kind, and that is what people remembered. I decided that day what I wanted my legacy to be: One day, hopefully a long time from now, I want people to say that I was kind. I want them to say that I was gracious, and I want them to say that they always felt accepted. Its easy to say that in an emotional moment; however, its not so easy to say that when the time comes for you to be kind. The truth is, people are going to hurt you. Some will be intentional, but most won’t be. Either way it still hurts. In that moment of hurt it is so easy to hurt people back. However, that is the time people will remember. They will remember when it was so easy for you to be mean, but you were kind. They will remember when it was easy for you to judge, and you showed grace. People will remember the way you treated them. This week my ability to be kind was tested, and last night as I prayed, I heard the Holy Spirit so clear, “You asked me to teach you to be kind…” I was quickly reminded of my prayer at my grandfather’s funeral, and my answer was so clear in how to handle the situations that have come my way: Be kind.
Jesus painted a perfect picture on how to treat people, and He was even more clear on how to treat people who have hurt us:
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22
“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” Romans 2:4
If there is anything I am certain of it is that judging people is never the answer. I want people to remember me as being kind, even when it was easy for me not to be.