Tuesday, February 18, 2014


“It’s like having open heart surgery without the anesthetic.” With a cavalier attitude I chuckled and dismissed that exaggerated comment about our upcoming computer changes. Certainly changing a business management system for an automobile franchise could not be that horrendous. The consultant was right. I was wrong. For the next four weeks as our employees were inundated with all that new computer data, they struggled to stay alive on that surgical gurney of tension, lost sleep and emotional trauma.
 As a Christian on the management team of a secular corporation, I am supposed to be different…somehow. When everyone is running around tired, sometimes angry and feeling defeated, what can I do to change the temperature of the operating arena?
 The bible puts it quite simply: “Stop being mean, bad-tempered and angry. Quarreling, harsh words and dislike of others should have no place in our lives. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted…” (Ephesians 4:31,32 NLT) (Italics mine). 
 Instead be kind…tenderhearted.  How weak and simple that sounds. Yet I believe that kindness is the most powerful source of action that flows out of the fruit of the spirit. Kindness responds to tension. Kindness acts. Kindness has the power to change tension into tenderness.
 How can we show kindness in a society presently seeped in tension?
1.            Let’s do as the bible says. STOP. Make a decision and not let our feelings get caught up in the                 powerful negative forces.
2.            Let’s make a deliberate choice to be different. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give us the                           wisdom and compassion to see other people through the eyes of Jesus.       
3.            Intentionally walk around and encourage others through:  A piece of chocolate. A pat on the                       back. Look them in the eyes and say, “Hey, in spite of everything you’re doing awesome.”
4.          Remember, people will not remember us for how smart or accomplished we are, but for                 how we made them feel. As writers, we have our tool kit of words to change the                              temperature in our areas of influence.
 I believe we live in a generation where we are hungry for someone to show us a little kindness.  For those of us who go into a secular workplace, I challenge all of us to step right into the tension and ask God to give us a heart of kindness so that we can, through the power of the Holy Spirit, deliberately change the tension into tenderness. Next week when you and I go to work, let’s ask ourselves this question: “God show me someone who can use a little kindness.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are the kindest person I have ever met. Teach me to be kind. Help me to let go of my selfishness so that I can have eyes to see where I can pour out kindness and change tension into tenderness. Amen.
Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her husband, family and friends. You can reach her at www.heartconnection.ca


Kathie Chiu said...

Thanks for that great reminder! People need kindness from us and when we do that, we become God's agents in our community.

Peter Black said...

How true, Heidi! Ours is indeed a call to demonstrate kindness. As you show so clearly, it needn't take a whole lot, but is necessary.
Yep, as the old chorus goes: "It's just like Jesus to roll the clouds away." Kindness can do that. :)~~+~~

Kimberley Payne said...

Great post on kindness, Heidi. I agree with you that "Kindness acts". Well put!

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