The orientation of kindness

Kindness takes practice. It must be premeditated and intentional until it becomes one in habit and nature. Kindness is the fruit of the Spirit so self must be set aside in order to be led in the practice of kindness. Kindness is a creative act which requires each one to allow the creator to work through the surrendered life in that moment. Kindness is not possible without loving God and others. It is a pure act of otherness devoid of self-interest or self-promotion. In order to be kind, we must make the effort to continually orient our life toward kindness.

One of the church fathers, Clement of Alexandria, born in Athens in 150AD, wrote precepts called Endurance to Exhortation or To the Newley Baptized. In this document, he "presents a clear and beautiful picture of the ideal of Christian conduct" (Introduction). Are you thinking about the spiritual orientation of your daily life? Is the ideal of Christian conduct foremost in our minds? I hope these thoughts from Clement of Alexandria help you refocus your efforts toward kindness.

  • Let your speech be gentle towards those you meet, and your greeting kind.
  • Be thoughtful in all your talk, and give back a useful answer, adapting the utterances to the hearer's need.
  • Take care never to speak what you have not weighted and pondered beforehand, nor interject your own words on the spur of the moment and in the middle of another's; for you must listen and converse in turn, with set times for speech and silence.

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