Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cookie-Cutter Kindness

It’s hard being kind.

One of the things that can be hard about being homeschooled is being stuck in a house with the same people every day.  Patience sometimes wears thin and we end up snapping at each other.  Although everyone in my family has good relationships with the others, we go through patches where we only notice the things that annoy us and become more frustrated with one another. 

Here’s my dilemma.

I worked really hard at being kind this week. 

While talking to my family, I made my voice soft (in my head I sometimes rolled my eyes), I didn’t talk back when I was frustrated with my mom and dad (all the while holding on to my anger), and I went through the motions of doing the right things.

In the end it all led to more anger toward my family members.

What was missing?

Galations 5:22 reads:
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

On the outside I was showing cookie-cutter kindness, but inside I lacked all the fruits of the spirit.

Here’s the great thing about my family:  I get to talk things out.  We have scheduled meetings throughout our week to talk about what is going right and what is going wrong.  This week, in response to my frustration with how my plan was going, my dad pointed out that our family has been watching too much television and that our choices in programs were not ones that would draw out the fruits of the spirit.  He made a decision that the shows we watched would be planned events that we watched together and not a way to escape from each other and from responsibility. 

My dad was right. After two days of no television, there has been a significant change in my feelings toward other people. I’ve taken another step into my plan. Instead of being kind on the outside, I actually feel real kindness towards my family.

My conclusion?  I believe kindness can’t be an act.  It has to be real.  In order for it to be real, it needs to be the result of a heart that is full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control -Impossible if I’m distracted by selfishness and irrelevant things. 
So, I am hopeful that God will show little by little the changes I need to make in order to be the kind of person He wants me to be.

1 comment:

  1. Laura,
    Your words and wisdom are inspiring and insightful. You've captured, not only what to strive for, but simple and effective action steps. I look forward to watching Him at work through you (and maybe learning something myself along the way!)