Be kind, especially when it’s awkward
Loving others is not a part-time job
Has an act of kindness ever made you feel uncomfortable?
Maybe you spent some time with someone at school who doesn’t have anyone to talk to … and you found out why they don’t have anyone to talk to. Maybe you’ve volunteered to clean up after church and found yourself stuck with someone called Marjory who’s telling you about her grandchildren.
Kindness can be awkward. Sometimes it's easy to run away from situations like these to avoid looking silly.
We can avoid being kind to avoid being uncomfortable, or we can show compassion and friendliness and potentially sacrifice our own comfort for the sake of others.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that." (Luke 6:32-33)
When kindness isn’t easy, be kind
It's easy to love those who are easy to love and be kind to those who are kind back. But what about when we have to love people when it doesn't come easily or be kind to people who make us feel uncomfortable and embarrassed?
Kindness without sacrifice is no kindness at all.
Ann Voskamp writes in her book, The Broken Way, "Isn't suffering the first thing Jesus promises us? Isn't this how we make Christ present? The only way to avoid brokenness is to avoid love... you are less willing to suffer for love until you know how His love made Him suffer for you" (137).
When we show kindness even through awkwardness, we are imitating the One that loved us first.
When kindness isn’t popular, be kind
It’s easy to run away from these situations. Maybe we'll look "uncool" or silly when we are made uncomfortable through kindness, but that's what loving Christ is all about.
In the real world, it’s difficult to stand up against peer pressure and choose the kind thing over the popular one.
But in light of eternity, popularity won’t matter.
Being well-liked and accepted by others won’t matter.
Glorifying God and sharing Christ’s love is the only thing that will be truly worthwhile.
When we show kindness in Jesus’s name, we’re able to look to Him instead of focusing on our own comfort.
Our perfect example—more then a random act of kindness
Jesus was made uncomfortable first. He was the one that died a harsh, cruel, painful death. He was treated like a criminal even though he had a perfect, unblemished record.
He humbled himself before the High Priest and before the crowds that beat him and divided his clothing.
He hung there in silent submission to his father, looking out at all the people gathered around Him, knowing that they should have been there in His place.
And he looked at them with love in his heart.
Jesus sacrificed more than being awkward for our sake. He sacrificed everything. Jesus endured all of it—the betrayal, the denials, the booing and jeering, the trials, the mocking, the beatings, the insults and ultimately, the cross.
He sacrificed comfort for the sake of love.
Jesus focused not on Himself, but on His heavenly Father. He focused on His Father's will and not his own (Luke 22:42).
When we run away from kindness, we’re running away from Christ
Jesus was the ultimate example of kindness being made uncomfortable.
So, we can love that girl even though she embarrasses us. We can sit with the boy with special needs even when he makes us feel uneasy. We can respect the teacher that everyone gossips about.
We can share Christ’s love, especially when it makes us feel uncomfortable.
Because Jesus died for all of us. He died for the poor, the misfits, the ones the world rejects, and the socially awkward.
So why would we choose comfort over kindness? Why would we choose familiarity over showing Christ’s love?
If Jesus can sacrifice everything for kindness and love, then we can do the same for Him.