“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” {Ephesians 4:32, NKJV}

Those are the words for this month. And they might be a little more challenging than they seem on the surface. Sometimes being kind is not the nice, fun, or easy thing to do — and will we rise to the challenge?

In her recent hit novel-turned-movie Wonder, R.J. Palacio tells the story of a young boy with very significant facial deformities and health challenges. From the perspective of several characters and the boy himself, you experience both the kindness and the harshness of the world we live in, and you walk away inspired to be on the team that wants to make kindness a way of life. (I haven’t seen the movie yet, but loved the book and highly recommend it!)

Palacio quotes J.M. Barrie (or one of her characters does) in a speech he makes to the class completing their fifth grade year, and asks this simple question:

“Shall we make a new rule of life… always to try to be a little kinder than necessary?”

I had to put the book down and write those words down immediately. And then I had to sit quietly and soak in that thought for a moment: What would our world look like if we tried to always be a little kinder than necessary? 

What would it look like to always go the extra mile?

To turn the other cheek metaphorically – and physically when necessary – on a regular basis?

Could simple acts, the tenderhearted, forgiving ones, be the difference someone else needs? The thing that stops the guy from walking into the store to buy the gun?

Could the smile you offer in the grocery store give a stranger the boost of hope they needed to believe they could keep going?

The challenge I’d love to invite you to rise to this February is a simple one: Look for ways to be kinder than necessary.

Look for ways to go above and beyond. To keep that one precious heart of yours tender towards the people around you — the ones you know and the ones you don’t. If you aren’t already a journal-keeper, why not take this opportunity to write down those moments where you’ve reached toward kinder-than-necessary? Think about how you felt on the other side of the experience — and if you know what it meant to the person receiving the kindness, write that down, too!

Need some ideas to get you started? How about paying for the coffee of the person behind you? Or doing something especially kind for the person at work that frustrates the heck out of you and everybody else? Be generous. Be a listener. Be the one who washes the dishes this time, the one who takes out the trash.

Mother Teresa said, “Don’t look for big things, just do small things with great love….The smaller the thing, the greater must be our love.”

Now get out there and do the small things with the big love, friends! Think Ephesians 4:32. Think Kinder than necessary. Think Kindness.

I’m completely sure you will find the more you give, the more you feel fulfilled… and I can’t wait to hear how it goes!


“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” {Ephesians 4:32, NKJV}

I would love to hear how Kindness changes the world around you! Share on social media — #thegoodwordswithlove and tag @carolinecollie

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