Have you noticed the increase in "unofficial" holidays that are being celebrated each year? There's Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day in January, National Yada, Yada, Yada Day in July and Howl at the Moon Day in October, just to name a few of the unconventional and wacky ones.
Another unofficial holiday that comes around each Nov. 13 is World Kindness Day. This day challenges us to be friendly, generous and considerate without expecting anything in return.
How fitting is it that during the month that we celebrate kindness, a movie about the life of Fred Rogers will also be released. One of the most notable advocates of kindness, he created a TV show, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," which ran from 1968 to 2001. His platform was encouraging children by telling them how special they are and how each one matters. He taught a generation how to care for others. He also helped children with their feelings by addressing tough subjects. Fred Rogers was a smiley man with a kind word and his message, "There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind," is still relevant today:
Kindness is also mentioned as a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Why would God want us to demonstrate kindness? Because it reflects his own character. God's kindness to us was shown through the life and death of Jesus Christ. It's a kindness we don't deserve and He wants us to show the same compassion for others.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
How can you show kindness to others, not just on Nov. 13 but as a way of life? Through a smile, an encouraging word, a helping hand or just going the extra mile for someone. When you are not sure of the right thing to say or do, just do the kind thing.
Laura Owings is the Communications Director at TrueNorth Church. For more information, visit truenorthchurch.com.