I don’t know about you, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of the world lately. The last few years have been anything but easy for most people, and intros to previous editions have covered aspects of the pandemic and the economic difficulties that so many have faced. But this year seemed like it might herald a different kind of reality, a new hope, as it were.
That’s not really how things seem to have turned out, have they? I’m thinking in particular of the return of war of aggression to the European continent for the first time in over 75 years. (This issue of Activated features a firsthand account from a regular contributor who worked among refugees for many years, only to find herself fleeing Eastern Ukraine in March 2022.) But there are several other ongoing, more-or-less-frozen conflicts around the world, and there are also other types of pain and misery. In the face of it all, how can we, as individuals, respond? Kindness and compassion would be a good start, but what does it look like?
For a perfect example of kindness, we need look no further than Jesus. Jesus lived a life of perfect kindness, including three years spent continuously healing the sick, feeding the hungry, teaching the people, caring for widows, and nurturing children.
Jesus was perfectly selfless in everything He did. He noticed the needy and intentionally sought them out, even when He Himself was tired and weary. He was kind to everyone, even those who didn’t “deserve” it. Jesus was the living expression of God’s kindness in His mission to seek and save the lost, and He gave His life so that we might have eternal life.1 Even on the cross, He displayed compassion by praying for those who were executing Him: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”2
So what does kindness look like? It looks like Jesus. Let’s make Him our role model and kindness our lifestyle, today and every day.