Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 ESV
A young man, head covered by a hooded sweatshirt, fell asleep on the shoulder of an older passenger. When someone else offered to wake the young rider, the older man quietly said, “He must have had a long day. Let him sleep, we’ve all been there.” Then he let the tired fellow rider sleep on his shoulder for the better part of the next hour, until the older man gently eased away to get up for his stop. In the meantime, another passenger snapped a photograph and posted it on social media, and it went viral. Daily Bread, January 15, 2014
Urban Dictionary describes something that “goes viral” as an image, video, or link that spreads rapidly through a population by being frequently shared with several individuals. Though “going viral” is associated with social media, words about a kind act, an image, or a video of a kind act can also spread rapidly through a population without social media. Jesus’ miracle at the wedding of Canaan went viral, as well as His resurrection of Lazarus, despite the fact social media did not exist.
Most people long to see and experience the kindness of others. Our kindness to others is a gift to God. Even when our acts of kindness do not “go viral” on social media, they certainly go viral in heaven. Many Christians are heavenly “celebrities” while on earth without knowing it because of their kindness to others. The names of those who are kind on earth are being celebrated and talked about enthusiastically in the heavenly realm. Indeed, because evil has so proliferated the world and the heart of so many has become callous, acts of kindness on earth spread rapidly in heaven and are frequently shared within the angelic hosts. Every act of kindness to others tickles the heart of God and is an investment in God’s kingdom economy.
In today’s text, Paul encourages the Ephesian believers to be kind to one another. Kindness is the expression or manifestation of agape love. Members of the body of Christ should be kind to one another because love is our native tongue and the primary principle upon which Jesus created His Church. When we see kindness in action, we should spread the word enthusiastically through our network so the kindness can be commended.
One of the reasons I hate watching the news on television is because evil and cruelty are often highlighted while acts of kindness are barely mentioned. Indeed, most people have been given such a steady diet of bad news for so long, that they have become indifferent to the evil in our world and cynical about the kindness of others. In some cases, we do not spread the news about kind acts because we don’t believe they are true, or we question the motive for the kindness instead of celebrating the act of kindness.
Instead of lamenting the hostility that exists in our world and in our society, let us do acts of kindness that can go viral. If you see an act of kindness, spread the word for others to know that kindness is still cool. Instead of posting pictures of houses, cars, or other frivolous things on Facebook, why not post an image or video of an act of kindness. Instead of tweeting about a favorite athlete, celebrity, or sports team, why not tweet an image of kindness in action like the passenger did in today’s illustration.
Questions for Personal Reflection
How can you help kindness to go viral today?
What acts of kindness can you do for others to gladly share on social media, and would go viral in heaven?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please stir my heart with your elixir of love so I can be kind to others. Please help me to look for opportunities to be kind without the desire for notoriety. May I not become cynical when others express kindness. Instead, help me to appreciate and promote every act of kindness no matter how random and humble it may be.