5 Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity. 6 When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should.
Being kind has always been so important to me. My Daddy often said, “It’s always right to be kind,” and he proved it over and over again by the way he lived and the way he dealt with people.
Yesterday morning in my quiet time, this verse popped out at me, impressing itself enough upon me that I stopped and wrote it off and stuck it up to my cupboard door. My intentions were good.
We had our annual bonfire and hayride last night. I have been looking forward to it for so long, and I really wanted everyone to have a great time. But a family showed up an hour and fifteen minutes early with an extra four kids in tow in addition to their own four and you know what? I kinda blew my good intentions.
It could be said that the children broke every trike on the place except one. It could be said that the mother had been asked to not bring extra children, but had said that if she did, she would watch them — and didn’t. It could be said that they went through the line first, took an inordinate amount of food as well as a lions share of the best desserts and this after bringing nothing to the potluck. It could be said that the mother, instead of watching the kids was in the house trying to convince me to buy her a new phone and put minutes on it. And it could be said that when it came time for the hay ride, both parents went and hid in the car and sent seven of the eight children on the hay ride unsupervised. At least by them.
But it could also be said that my heart was very wrong. I did not even think of my Bible verses for the day. I was able to respond with kindness to the four extra children. They were sweet, respectful and grateful. But I chafed. Oh, how I chafed at being so inconvenienced by the early arrival and the intensity of the whole evening.
You could say that the lights went out in my heart. And I am not at all sure that my words were kind. The thing is, God said that I should make the most of every opportunity. Why? So that I, as a believer, will be able to speak hope to the people who are without hope.
“It’s always right to be kind.”
Last night, I got it wrong.