“Most people are too busy to be kind.” These were the words my Auntie Kath once said to me. They are sobering words. Has kindness been sidelined in my life as a result of being too busy? Do I justify my non-interest and non-involvement in the needs of others by saying: “I’m too busy.”
It is good to remember that one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is kindness (see Gal. 5:22). So for myself as a Christian, kindness is to be an essential part of my life. If the inclination towards kindness is not manifest in my life then I am most likely not a true follower of Christ.
But what is kindness? It is that desire to bring goodness and benefit into the lives of others. It is a generous, warm-hearted concept. The Good Samaritan was a kind man. We read that: a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him (Luke 10:33-34). He saw the need of the man who had been attacked by robbers and got involved to do good and bring benefit to that man.
But sadly, as my Auntie said, most of us are too busy to show that generous interest which brings benefit to others. We say that we just cannot spare the time. Accordingly, parents never get a call or visit from sons / daughters who are too busy. Shut-in neighbours never have contact with anyone, because those nearby are too busy, of course. And there is no listening ear for our work colleagues who are carrying the burdens of life because we cannot spare them the time. This list could go on – and all because people are too busy to be kind.
We must remember, though, that the Good Samaritan did not have to go and help the man who had been attacked on the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem (he was after all on the road to Jericho), if there was such an individual. His responsibility was to be kind to the pressing need on the road to Jericho. This is because he was on that road. But when the need did press upon him; he did meet it with kindness. It is not ours to chase around for situations into which to express our kindness. Rather, the important thing is to show kindness into the next situation we encounter which requires it.
So, am I, are you, too busy to be kind?
(Originally published at Venabling on 2nd August 2013. Re-published here with slight alterations)