Solutions June 2016 - Page 15

does not always embody kindness. You make a point in the book of clarifying that kindness is not the same thing as “niceness,” that “niceness” is NOT a Christian value. Can you explain the difference between being kind and being “nice?” By kindness, I’m not talking about when you buy a stranger coffee or when you bring in your neighbor’s trash cans or when you tell someone they have food in their teeth. These are nice random acts. But kindness is not a random act. It’s a radical life. Kindness is not limited to grandmothers or Boy Scouts. Never mistake kindness for niceness. Kindness is all over the Bible, plentiful in both Testaments. But you won’t find niceness in the Bible once— nor the word nice, for that matter. Kindness is fierce, brave and daring. It’s fearless and selfless, never to be mistaken for niceness. They’re not the same and never were. Kindness is neither timid nor frail. Niceness is kindness minus conviction. I think we should scrub “nice” from our vocabulary. We need to stop telling children to be nice and instead tell them to be kind, and then tell them the difference. The virtue of kindness is rooted in Scripture, forged on sound Christian theology and modeled over the centuries by followers of Jesus. Since the early church, disciples have walked the risky and sometimes dangerous road of kindness. Kindness is a radical way of living biblically. It’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit on Paul’s short list in Galatians 5. It’s not a duty or an act. It’s an imperative. It’s the natural outcome of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. We exhale kindness after we inhale what’s been breathed into us by the Spirit. Kindness radiates when we’re earnest about living the way of Christ, the way of the Spirit. Kindness displays the wonder of Christ’s love through us. Niceness may be pleasant, but it lacks conviction. It has no soul. Niceness trims its sails to prevailing cultural winds and wanders aimlessly, standing for nothing and thereby falling for everything. Kindness is certainly not aggression, but it’s also not niceness. Niceness is cosmetic. It’s bland. Niceness is keeping an employee in the job, knowing he’s no longer the right fit therefore failing him and the company because you don’t have the courage to do the kind thing. Kindness calls you to tell him he’s not the person for the position and then dignify him in the transition. ***** Biola University President Barry H. Corey’s first book, Love Kindness, urges Christians to reclaim the virtue of kindness. Get your copy here: www. lovekindnessbook.com. SMG Solutions 15