Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant. 1 Corinthians 13:4
“You promised to take them on a picnic!” my grandfather boomed with his deep ship’s captain voice. “You must be kind and you have to keep your promises!” About a year after Nancy and I married we stayed for a few months with my grandparents while I was unemployed. I not only adored my grandparents but I asked to go there because my they were the only ones I knew would welcome us without question. So Nancy and I, along with our two month old son went there until I could get a job and save money for an apartment.
I was stunned to hear the anger and disappointment in my grandfather’s voice. What hurt the most was knowing that he was absolutely right. As a new husband and father I got the part about working hard, and being willing to sacrifice, but what I missed somewhere along the way was learning to be kind.
“I’m sorry!” I blurted out to my grandfather. “Don’t just tell me, tell them.” He answered lowering his voice just a bit. Then as he turned and began to leave he stopped and added “Remember that a gentleman is always kind.”
Some fruits of the Spirit, like joy and peace can be enjoyed in solitude but for patience and kindness we need other people. Kindness is not just about me, it is remembering to keep my promises and get packed for the picnic today!