How Much Will Kindness Cost?
How much do you pay for your clothing? And why do you pay that amount? Sometimes we have no choice. Our employer insists on a particular dress code and, expensive or not, you must wear what he requires. Other times we are free to choose, like when at home or when we go hang out with friends. No matter what reasons behind our choice of clothing, with rare exceptions, these two facts apply: I must pay a price for the clothing I wear, and my choice of clothing will evoke a certain emotional response.
How we dress affects how we feel about ourselves and others. It also affects how others feel about us. There have been dozens of studies on dress and human behavior. Results vary considerably, but it appears that dress codes in schools, though they may not alter academic performance significantly, DO alter behaviors with numerous reports of considerably less violence and increased feelings of confidence, safety, and belonging.
The bottom line? What we put on changes the way we see ourselves and the people around us and influences our actions.
Clothe yourselves with kindness
Just as we pay a price for the outward clothing we wear so we can accurately reflect ourselves or companies, so we will also pay a price when we choose to put on the inward clothing God asks us to wear so we can accurately reflect who He is to our world.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12
There is a cost to clothing ourselves in godly character. Sometimes it will be only pennies – simple acts of kindness that may even be reciprocated. Other times the price of wearing godly clothing will exact a heavy toll. Mama Addie, the house mum of the orphanage in our story Miracle at Redimere House, is experiencing that right now with Mettie. She has invested enormous amounts of patience, love, hope, and kindness into this street child she rescued from a workhouse. She has given Mettie a clean, healthy environment, has offered security, friendship, and a future. But every act of kindness has been met with ungratefulness, deceit, and even violence. Kindness is costly. Why does she persevere in what seems to be a completely hopeless situation?
The older kids in our Emeth classes have just finished listening to chapter four. It ends with this conversation:
Then Felicity asked the question Mama Addie was hoping someone would ask.
“How can you keep being so kind to her when she doesn’t deserve it? She has been so very awful to all of us, including you!”
“As you know,” replied Mama Addie, “you all have a sad story in your past. What you don’t know is that I too have one. And I think it’s time to tell it.”
As you will see, Mama Addie has quite a story of her own. We’ll talk more about kindness and Felicity’s question next week!
Easing the emotional expenditures
We at Emeth are well aware of the emotional expenditures of parenting and the heavy toll it sometimes exacts. Some of us also know what is at the other end and, as we look back, can see the unmistakable intervention of God in many situations where we had no idea what we were doing! His faithfulness is so clearly seen now that we have passed through the waters. He has been our anchor, and He is yours as well. We want to be your fan club – cheering you on and encouraging you in your efforts to raise confident, secure children who sense they have an exciting future and purpose. We do this with our original stories based on specific character traits. We train character! It will become a firm foundation upon which they can build they lives. You can listen to Miracle at Redimere House HERE and find many other stories and curriculum HERE.