These are all excellent resolutions, but what if this year, we resolved to be kinder? More giving? More gracious? Less rude and impatient? Not so quick-on-the-draw to find fault in someone who doesn’t see eye to eye with us? Less inclined to make others feel they have to align with our standards if we’re going to like them.
It doesn’t mean compromising our faith and values, but rather to respectfully disagree.
This year has been a rough one for everyone, but unfortunately, instead of pulling together in unity, the opposite has occurred in many cases. It seems people are angrier and less inclined to give others the benefit of the doubt. Less likely to show grace. Quicker to assume the worst of someone. Abruptly forgetting that it’s all right to agree to disagree.
In addition, this past year brought in a litany of things to add to our growing list of why we are divided as a nation, as a church, even as friends and family. We’ve witnessed friendships end, families in dispute, churches divided, and a nation in turmoil.
Having our own opinions isn’t wrong, as a matter of fact, it’s a good thing and a testament to the creativity of our Creator. He made us each different with different longings, different ideas, and different ways of seeing things. Wouldn’t it be a boring world if we all had the same thoughts on every topic? If we all had the same hopes and dreams?
So this year, in addition to our regular New Year’s resolutions, what if we made it a goal to be kinder? Here are 11 ways to do just that.
- Give people the benefit of the doubt.
- Offer a genuine smile. Smiling not only benefits others, but also, according to Benefits Bridge, benefits you by improving your mood, enhancing your immune system, and reducing blood pressure.
- Offer ample appreciation and encouragement.
- See a need and fill it.
- Dedicate yourself to praying for others often, even your enemies. (Matthew 5:44).
- Be generous with forgiveness. (Matthew 18:21-22)
- Offer grace, especially when it’s undeserved.
- Be humble and put others first.
- Agree to disagree, and do so with respect.
- Be honest.
- And most importantly, tell someone about Jesus and make an eternal impact in their lives.
We don’t have to align ourselves with a culture that is harsh, angry, and divided. We can choose to be kind and gracious, even to those with whom we strongly disagree.
May this year’s New Year’s Resolution be one of kindness.
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