Crystal Cathedral

Watch the Hour of Power online and on television (Saturday at 6PM PST on TBN, Sunday at 8AM EST/PST on Lifetime)

Kindness Korner

Is it Kind?


Third, Remember that no other things done can atone for a lack of kindness. Many people excuse themselves for a lack of kindness by pointing to the things they do for someone – “I am working my fingers to the bone for him.” Yes, but the fleshless fingers will not atone for unkind words and attitudes.

Even ministers who work hard but lack this essential kindness are no exception. Paul says: “I prove myself at all points a true minister of God,” and in the twenty-eight things he names, he puts as the fourteenth “kindness” (II Cor.6:4-10, Moffatt). At the very center of all his proofs was “kindness.” If at the center of all our proofs of our being true ministers and workers for God is not kindness, then all the rest is sounding brass and tinkling cymbal.

A prominent man, very ardent and very able and in every way outstanding, was divorced by his wife on the simple statement: “He crushed my personality.” There was an apparently central unkindness. And nothing else could atone for that.

Fourth, Beware of the attitude of criticism which will dry up the springs of kindness. If you take the attitude of criticism, it will put you on the defensive, and you’ll have to set yourself against kindness to justify your criticism. In an atmosphere of criticism, kindness withers and dies. So kill the criticism before it kills the kindness.

In our Ashrams we have this motto among others: “When about to criticize another, ask:
Is it true? Is it redemptive? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If the criticism doesn’t pass the test of kindness, it is unjustifiable.

There are those who feel they are called of God to criticize people into goodness. The Pharisees sincerely tried this and ended in producing not goodness in others, but Pharisaism in themselves. Setting yourself up in judgment produces not the very good Christian, but the very good Pharisee. And the very good Pharisee is an ugly character. Jesus made the very good Pharisee forever unrespectable.

Dear Lord, as I know my own faults, help me to be kindly toward the faults of others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I can never criticize another into goodness, for I make myself bad in the process.

No comments:

Post a Comment