Be Kind: It Changes the World — and You

“The secret power of kindness is the self-awareness to know that you have the power to make or break someone else’s day, and eventually change the world. Kindness has no hidden agenda or strings attached. Its only purpose is to express love to another soul made in the image of God.” ~Greg Atkinson

“Kindness has been defined as loaning someone your strength instead of reminding them of their weakness.” ~Brené Brown

“Kind words soothe and quiet and comfort the hearer. They pull him out of his sour, morose, unkind feelings. We have not yet begun to use kind words in such abundance as they ought to be used.” Blaise Pascal

“Always be a little kinder than necessary.” ~James M. Barrie

KINDNESS: noun; is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Imagine a world where everyone is kind to one another.

Don’t we all agree that the world needs more kindness? Not only does the world need more kindness, but the world would be a better place if we each displayed kindness in our daily lives.

As Christians, we believe that kindness is one of the fruits of the Spirit that flows out of us naturally when we are abiding in Christ. The more time you spend with Jesus, the kinder you will be.

But kindness is also a choice that comes out of a soul at peace with itself, a soul that feels free.

Whereas we would imagine that Christians should be the kindest people on earth, given our faith in Christ’s promise and our commitment to his way of life, most of us know that this is not the case. In fact, sometimes, it seems that we struggle more than others to show kindness, especially when our most beloved traditions or opinions are at stake.

But why? What prevents us from behaving kindly toward others? Why is it so hard for us to exude the simple acts of kindness that bind all of us closer as fellow human beings?

As humans, Christians too, sometimes our hearts can get locked into places of pain and fear caused by our experiences with the world, misunderstandings about God, or our own unreasonable expectations of ourselves. Once we become enmeshed in misconceptions, anger, pain, or perfectionism, it can become very hard to see ourselves kindly, let alone emit kindness to the world. This can be the case even for the most ardent of Christians.

We live in a complicated world. People today face a myriad of problems. Yet, we know that kindness can be the powerful force we need to make positive change in our world, to unlock anger and bitterness, heal divisions, forge relationships, and foster respect. Think about it. Simply choosing to be kind to someone could be the healing balm that he or she needs that day. Have you ever smiled at a waiter or a cashier who looked beyond stressed or simply blue, and then saw them suddenly light up? Kindness is a secret weapon. It disarms people and breaks down their defensive walls. Kindness unlocks kindness. Complimenting people, commending people, affirming people, and thanking people can make all the difference in their day, their attitude, and in their life and yours.

Kindness changes the way we look at people. To cultivate kindness within ourselves not only helps us to be kind to others but gives us a fresher, easier perspective on life, one that is filled with grace, love, and hope. You never know the impact you may have on an individual simply by practicing the power of kindness.

I’ve seen many wounded, bitter people who have grown so mean, nasty, and hateful that you couldn’t help but see the prison walls that they had built up around their lives. Kindness begins to flow when we free ourselves and others from the walls and fences that divide and confine us.

I invite you to read my new book, The Secret Power of Kindness, like a mirror. In it, I will show you some ways that you can begin to unlock the prison walls surrounding you, those fears and feelings that are keeping you from feeling God’s joy within and from expressing that joy in kindness toward others. Ask God to reveal those areas of your life that you need to address and pray for the courage to do your part in that work of change, as you humbly submit your will to His.

As you delve into The Secret Power of Kindness, my prayer for you is that God would open your eyes to all that you can become for yourself and others. Amazing change can happen when you realize that you’re loved just as you are. Let me share with you what I have learned about unlocking the “secret power” of kindness.

My new book, The Secret Power of Kindness, releases June 6th. Order your copy now from wherever books are sold. And I’d personally LOVE IT if you left a review on Amazon! Thanks for your support for my writing all these years.

Read more from Greg Atkinson »

This article originally appeared on GregAtkinson.com and is reposted here by permission.

Greg Atkinson
Greg Atkinsonhttp://gregatkinson.com

Greg Atkinson is the founder of Worship Impressions and the First Impressions Conference. He serves as the executive director of ExPastors.com, and is on the advisory board of Full Strength Network—a national non-profit dedicated to helping pastors and church leaders stay healthy and avoid burnout. Greg is an author, leadership coach, consultant, and member of Forbes Coaching Council. Greg has worked with churches of all stages and sizes, including some of the largest and fastest-growing churches in the country, as well as with businesses, non-profits, and organizations such as Josh McDowell Ministries.