More Kindness, Less Judgment
by Jennifer Aufrecht | 02/29/2016 | Volunteer Writer
I have been struggling with writing this article for several weeks because, well, it just seems like common sense. A couple days ago, as I was getting ready to spend the day at Disneyland with my husband, I asked the Lord to show me something specific about this topic during the day. After an argument before we ever left the house, forgetting something we had to go back home to get, frustrations in the parking lot, being randomly chosen for an extra security screening on our way in, and trying to meet up with our kids for one last show of Aladdin, I realized that kindness isn’t always my first response, and judgment comes out so much easier. Even my random acts of kindness are wrapped in judgment. It is so much easier to do something kind for a family with a cute kid than one with the child throwing a tantrum!
I came home at the end of the day feeling a little bit disappointed that I didn’t have a fantastic experience to share. I sat down to scroll through social media and ended up discouraged by all of the unkind and negative posts I was reading. I was ready to close my Facebook account and never return when the Lord said to me, “Hey, you asked for something specific today, didn’t you?”
I was reminded of an experience a few years ago at my class reunion. I started talking with a friend who told me that he had become a Christian early in our senior year. Since he didn’t know what to do or how to act, he watched me to learn because he knew I was a Christian. I didn’t know until that moment. Fast forward to the era of social media, I realize how far and wide my sphere of influence has become. All of my friends can see what I say and how I respond to others.
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” Romans 2:4 (NLT)
God’s kindness toward me is meant to lead me to repentance. Is my kindness toward others leading them to Christ?
My night ended with a video about a man on his way to church. He had all kinds of obstacles, and his thoughts were negative and judgmental. A stranger handed him a case with a pair of glasses inside. When he put them on, he could see the struggles of the people around him: “Fighting addiction”…“Lost his job”…“Ran away from home”…“Just needs someone to care”. His attitude and actions were so different when he knew what people were really facing. People don’t need us to judge them, they just need us to take the time to be kind.
Oh Lord, give me eyes to see people as you see them and fill me with your kindness for the people around me! Amen.
Jennifer has been married to Randy for over 27 years and is the mom of two mostly-grown kids, Kimberly & Nick. She loves Diet Coke, chocolate and the Seahawks. (#GoHawks!)