Kindness is not necessarily nice, but striving to be kind is much more virtuous that merely being nice. Truth can be kind, but truth is often not nice.
There will be times when we will plant the seed.
There will be times when we will harvest.
However most of our time will be spent providing nourishment and care for the garden.
Ministering to the needs of others requires an open mind, a loving heart, and unfettered time.
Unlike in the structured world of employment, ministering in not as much about solving problems as it is about providing what is needed.
Identifying a problem is easy; identifying a need is much more complicated. Sometimes the need may be as simple as having someone take the time to listen.
Problems are so much easier to solve after the needs are addressed – after the time, love, and companionship is freely given.
When our joy becomes a toxin to a friend, their sorrow can become toxic to us. A good friend will then walk away for a time.
Levity at the expense of another person’s feelings is still bullying. Especially when that levity depreciates the value of those feelings.
When levity is generated with the full understanding that someone else is hurting, then the levity is grossly inappropriate and unkind. Levity created in a vacuum of unawareness may be less inappropriate and less unkind, but it’s not less hurtful.
We may not always avoid hurting others, but should we not at least try to limit doing harm?
In our imperfect state, we all make mistakes and we all find ourselves guilty of less-than-kind behavior or speech, but we do not need to revel in our imperfection.
When the world is hating upon you because you stand for something, remember that it hurts less than when you are hating yourself for not.