Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's All About the Kindness

I read someplace the other day that if you type "Why Are Christians So" into the Google search box you might be surprised. Their predictive search function will automatically fill in the most popular queries based on this phrase.

The results are astounding. I guess. Or maybe they aren't? Here's what came up for me.

Maybe these answers are completely on the mark. And that's kind of depressing.

I've always thought that anyone who calls herself a Christian ought to work a whole lot harder on kindness than love. We spend quite a lot of time in churches spouting things like, "God is love," and "Love one another," while most of the time we have no clear idea what that actually might look like. It's just this vague phrase that has no real context or presence in our dealings with each other.

Even worse, there are whole flocks and denominations of Christians who use the word love to justify being harsh and exclusive. Love becomes doing what is "best" for you and, by the way. . . you don't get to decide what is best for you. I do.

Maybe we should go back to the beginning and start small. Work on kindness first and then graduate on to love. If you are a methodically kind person in your day to day interactions with others, odds are you have a great shot at becoming a loving person. But if you skip the lessons of kindness it is very unlikely you'll learn how to love. It's about baby-steps. And they start with kindness.

Today is the first day of Lent. I've got some work to do on kindness. And just maybe, 40 days from now I will also be a little bit more loving.

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