“May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.” - Romans 15:5
It’s hard to develop the discipline of kindness in our lives when we’ve been starved for it for so long. That’s the vicious circle we find ourselves in, isn’t it? I feel unappreciated, so I withhold appreciation from others.Then, they feel unappreciated and they withhold. Now, we’ve created a snowball effect that removes kindness altogether from our culture. Someone has to break the cycle.
Not everyone around us is going to appreciate us. That’s why we have to choose some friends to surround ourselves with who make caring for us a priority. When we have that support group, we don’t have to go looking for validation every time we show care to another person. Kindness breeds kindness. Our ongoing steps to change our mindset about thoughtfulness will feed into the actions of others.
For example, someone gives you a thoughtful gift. Your natural response is thankfulness, and you send them a thank you card. They receive the card and feel appreciated by you. They want to express how much it means to them to be appreciated by you. How far are you both willing to take this? At some point, the cards and texts have to stop, but the sentiment is still valid - care breeds care.
This is the secret weapon of the church - by creating a culture of care within the Body of Christ, we make Christ much more appealing to the world around us - a world that is starving for that kind of influence in their own lives.
TRY IT: What are you doing in a relationship that tends to go unappreciated? Take a moment to thank God for doing those things for you.