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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kindness and Dignity


  Restoring Kindness and Dignity
  Kerrville Daily Times and Community Journal
  January 2013

  Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie

 I was in a situation recently that made me as God what His heart would be in the situation. Without giving too many details, I observed someone being condescending to another person and then experienced it myself. True confessions, it made me mad. God always makes us feel valuable and loves to restore our dignity. I am passionate about helping people restore their dignity and value. If there is anything that can make me mad quick, it is to see someone devalue another person. It is never right. None of us have that privilege. If God almighty calls us by name and is kind to us, who are we to not do the same to others?
     Scripture tells us in Psalms 8 that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, therefore, it is imperative that we treat others with respect and kindness. I think it is interesting that the people Jesus rebuked  in the New Testament were the Pharisees because the Pharisees were not interested in people’s hearts, they were just interested in the letter of the law.They were more concerned in how things looked to others instead of how people were treated.
     God always treats people with honor and value because He loves us. So how do you treat others? Do you make them feel less than you? Do you treat ALL  that you come in contact with the same?
      One of my favorite quotes is, “People may forget what you said, they may forget what you know, but they never forget how you made them feel,” This is a good quote to live by. I know those that are prejudice and treat those of another race different. Each and every person you and i encounter needs to be treated with respect. Respect is defined as “deep admiration for someone.” It does not matter if the person is young, old black, or white, each is fearfully and wonderfully made and made in the image of God.
     When I was teaching school, one of the things I frequently dealt with was kids putting other kids down. Kids are notorious for making fun of others and pointing out others failures. I would frequently have a child or youth come to me complaining that someone in the class had made fun of them or tried to demean them. I would always talk to the offended and tell them that wounded people always try to wound other people. They have to step on others to make them feel better about themselves. Next  time you encounter someone that is condescending, remember that they are wounded individuals  that have to step on someone to make themselves feel better.
     `Scripture says in I Corinthians 13 that love never fails. Love is kindness in action. Love makes you kind to others. Kindness makes you likable and make others want to be around you. Do other like being around you? Do others feel better or worse after being in your presence? Dp you radiate kindness? Do you point out the good in them or are you constantly highlighting their inadequacies?
      Proverb 3:3-4 says, “Do not let kindness and truth leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.” (NIV) Being kind to others brings benefits into our lives. People like being around others that are kind. There are benefits to following scripture. God’s ways bring blessings into our lives. 
     Everyday we encounter people that are struggling. Often times we don’t realize it because we simply are not aware. What if you are the one that has the opportunity to make someone’s day? Kindness touches people’s hearts and reveals what is in our heart. Actually, kindness is a major part of the character of God. He is always kind. Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. Again, kindness is love in action. And love never fails. 
     I was in H.E.B this past week and there is a man that has worked for the company in management a number of years. I’ve noticed several times that even though he is a supervisor, you see him showing his employees his respect and kindness bagging groceries right there with them. I admire that he is revealing God’s heart to his employees and showing them they are just as valuable as he is..Ephesians 6:9 states, 
“And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.” In the heart of God, all of us are precious, valuable, and dearly loved; therefore, that is how we should treat one another.
     It does not matter if it is your boss, your spouse, the garbage collector or the janitor at your place of business, each needs to be treated with respect and with the same dignity. I can only imagine what our community would be like if all people treated each other with honor and respect. This requires honoring others and a desire to be like Jesus and to live as He lived. He lived a life of kindness caring more about people’s hearts than anything. Will you join me in looking for others you can be kind to and be a part of the healing process in their lives? Kerrville would be a better place if we were all made an effort to hang on to kindness and give it away to those we are around.
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