NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS—KINDNESS
“Be ye kind one to another … “—Eph. 4:32
Having, at age 17, become a member of King Louis XVI’s guard, Etienne De Grellet (1773-1855) was sentenced to death by the leaders of the Reign of Terror in France. He escaped to America in 1775. Soon after his arrival in America, Grellet became a Quaker, and then went on to become famous as a missionary both in the United States and in Europe doing much of his work in prisons and hospitals. At some early point in his life Gellet wrote, “I shall pass through this world but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can do, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.” I've shared this same desire where kindness is concerned in my heart and have tried to apply it long before I ever knew anything about Etienne De Grellet or was familiar with this quotation,
I haven’t been as diligent as I should and could have been in the area of kindness, but this is at the top of my list of resolutions for the New Year. Baseball legend Yogi Berra once famously said, “It ain’t over till it’s over;” I believe this, and as I approach this New Year I’m determined to re-set and double-down in a conscientious, day-by-day pursuit of this as a goal. To paraphrase John Wesley, “I want to do all the good I can, by all the means I can, in all the ways I can, in all the places I can, at all the times I can, to all the people I can, as long as ever I can.”
Seneca said, “Wherever there is a human being, there is the opportunity for a kindness.” There are opportunities for us to express kindness all around us, and the place to constantly be practicing it is with our spouses and children and with those in our church family. "Resolve,"said Lloyd Shearer, "to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and the wrong. Sometime in life you will have been all of these."
The Swiss philosopher and poet Henri Ariel was right when he said, "Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh, be swift to love, make haste to be kind!" Life really is short, and at the end of it nobody will regret their having been too kind to anyone. Let's all insure that 2020 will be a Happy New Year by assigning a high priority to kindness as one of our New Year's resolutions.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”