We were searching for a beach on the Big Island of Hawaii when my wife and I parked at the edge of a cliff near all the other cars. We noticed a family with children loading up to head home, and it looked like a good spot. I jumped out and saw a small beach with tiny people swimming and surfing at the bottom. It looked beautiful, and we were excited to hike down and enjoy the water.
We gathered our things and started toward the trailhead. When a young couple passed, I asked, “Is the beach nice down there?”
“Yes, it’s beautiful,” they said with a funny look on their faces. “But you know it’s a nude beach, right?”
Talk about awkward.
We laughed and returned to the car and went to another beach where we weirdos wear our bathing suits.
Do you know what else is awkward? Not clothing yourself in kindness.
Colossians 3:12-13 said, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with… kindness… Make allowance for each others faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
If you’re anything like me, you’ve neglected to dress in kindness more times than you care to remember, and you’ve regretted the unkindness that followed.
The truth is we need kindness in our lives. We thrive on it. We crave it. In fact, no healthy relationship can survive without it. Kindness is essential to life.
So how can we dress in kindness on a daily basis?
The first step is to remember how kind God is toward you. Your life might not be perfect. Neither is mine. But even in the imperfections, I can see the ways God has been extremely kind toward me even though I’m often unkind toward him.
If you took a few moments every day to think of the ways God has been kind toward you, it would radically change your life.
The second step we can take to dress in kindness is to make allowances for each others faults. Look, people are going to screw up. In fact, you’re probably going to screw up. It’s part of our humanity, our sinful nature.
The sooner we accept people’s imperfections, the easier it is to pour out kindness.
If you choose to clothe yourself in kindness, it will positively change every relationship in your life. Guaranteed. Kindness is always less awkward than unkindness. Put it on.
Zachary Elliott is the lead pastor of Fusion Christian Church. For more information, visit www.myfusionchurch.com.