By Rick Warren — Jul 19, 2017
“Look out for the good of others” (1 Corinthians 10:24b NCV).
Kindness always begins with the eyes — the way you observe the world and are sensitive to the needs of other people.
In Luke 10:33b, it says of the Good Samaritan, “When he saw [the man’s condition], his heart was filled with pity” (GNT). Notice that “he saw.” That is the starting point. If you want to learn to be a kinder person, you’ve got to change the way you look at the world. You’ve got to become more observant of the needs around you.
Hurry is the death of kindness. If you’re going to learn to be a kinder person, you’ve got to slow down! When you’re always distracted with other things, you don’t have time to be kind.
If you were to take a cross-country trip, there are several ways you could get from one side to the other. A plane would get you there fastest, but you wouldn’t see much of the country. You could take a train or even a car, and both would give you opportunities to see even more. But if you really wanted to take in as much as possible, you’d walk.
That’s because the slower you go, the more you see.
The Bible says, “Look out for the good of others” (1 Corinthians 10:24b NCV). The first step to kindness is to ask God to give you spiritual radar to be on the lookout for people around you who are hurting emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
Maybe you were born with this gift. You automatically sense when people around you are in need. It’s not that you’re more spiritual than the rest of us. You’re just wired that way. If that doesn’t describe you, then you’re like me: You have spiritual ADD. It’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to be task-focused. It’s easy to not be sensitive to what’s happening around you.
But if you care, you’ll be aware. Galatians 6:8 says, “The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others — ignoring God! — harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds!” (The Message). It’s not always easy to see the needs of other people, especially when they’re on the other side of the road. But it’s the starting point of kindness.
Talk It Over
- What are some intentional ways you can slow your life down so that you can more easily see the needs of people around you?
- What people do you pass every day who are sometimes more difficult to notice? When you keep your eyes open, what new opportunities do you see to help one of those people?
- How is ignoring the needs of others also ignoring God (Galatians 6:8)?