Kindness

To be honest, this past week has been a bit of a struggle for me. With life and “stuff” happening, it’s been challenge for me to be kind to myself. I wondered, how can I write about kindness when I am struggling to be kind to myself this week? And then I realized, that’s exactly why I need to write about kindness. To remind myself (and others!) that it is quite necessary to practice kindness to myself.

If I am to love others, as I love myself just as Jesus told me to, shouldn’t that imply that I also love and care for myself? There are times when I am harder on myself than I would be on anyone else. Beating myself up for silly mistakes, and not extending the kindness and grace I would to others if they found themselves in the same situation.

Practicing loving kindness starts with ourselves. If we show ourselves kindness in small ways, it will extend to others. When I feel the freedom to rest when I am sick, I am able to give others more grace and kindness when they are struggling. If I give myself permission to make mistakes, and not be a perfectionist, then it’s much easier for me to loosen my expectations of others.

Knowing this fact, it seems to me that it is all the more important for me to abide in Christ. The more that I abide; the more Christ will influence my thoughts, my actions, and my feelings. I hear the voice of Christ in those tricky situations, rather than the voice of my humanness. I hear Christ speaking words of love and tenderness to me, rather than judgment and criticism.

Questions for the week
In what ways do I need to practice loving kindness to myself this week? To others?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NIV