Aside from the opinion of my darling husband, I've often been told that I am incredibly nice. This wonderful compliment has come from family, friends, strangers, colleagues, and a variety of others. At one point in my life, I would pride myself on being overly kind to others. I wore it as a badge of honor. But life has a way of changing us, and I soon went from being proud of my kindness, to seeing it as my greatest weakness.
I remember talking with a coworker about how my career wasn't moving at the speed nor in the direction that I wanted it to. She mentioned my flexibility, and how I'm "too nice." Something about those words stuck with me. It made me feel weak. It made me feel taken advantage of. I began to analyze every part of my life and started to think the reason that I always felt insignificant was because I was too nice, and didn't demand the attention and respect of others like I needed to.
I started thinking that it was unfair that I am so giving of myself. I became a bit resentful because it often felt like I am always on the giving end, but never the receiving. I've battled with these thoughts for awhile, until I came across a simple scripture that reminded me of what I have been commanded to do.
The bible simply tells us "Do unto others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)" It doesn't tell us to love or give or serve with stipulations. It doesn't tell us to keep count of how much we've done, or the kindness we extend to others. It plainly tells us to treat others the way we desire to be treated.
We live in a time where many don't hold these values. Our generation only gives in hopes of somehow benefitting themselves. We say "kick rocks" to those who don't love us as much as we love them. Kindness is seen as a trait of the weak. But we are not of the world. We were commanded to be different.
In such a callous world, what is needed is kindness. Service to others. Gratitude. Love without condition. While many see it as a flaw, I know that these things make me unique and give me pride in being the woman God has commanded me to be.
Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with commanding respect and equality or advocating for yourself if you've been wronged. But there is even more peace when you can do these things while keeping your integrity, class, and kindheartedness.
When you feel that you are giving too much, doing too much, or being taken advantage of...remember that you were commanded to do so. Try a touch of kindness today. Don't be like the world, be set apart. Be the light that we all need.