When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
A young businessman named Michael told me that he never realized how unkind he could be until he asked God to show him. "Each night for a week I prayed for God to make me aware of ways I was being unkind. That was a prayer that he answered. It didn't take long for me to see how I needed to change my words and actions.
"Recently I tried to help a colleague who was going through a crisis. In the middle of our conversation, he said, ‘I think I might need to go to church with you. I think I need some spiritual help.' I don't remember ever discussing spiritual things with him, but I had tried to treat him with kindness. After he went to church with me, we talked about the life of Jesus and his purposes for us. Within three months, he became a transformed Christian. He had responded to God's love, and his life was in the process of changing."
Michael learned how to see people as individuals, created in the image of God, each gifted by God to play a particular role in life, and capable of having a love relationship with God. He had developed the attitude of Christ. As Michael realized, the world is filled with people who are like sheep without a shepherd. We are called to share the love of God—and as we do, we see how powerful kindness can be.
At the end of each day for the next week, ask God to show you ways you were unkind that day. Make a commitment to show kindness no matter how frustrating things get during the day. And if you realize you have hurt someone, apologize to that person.
Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life. For more information, click here.