“Being kind is much more important than being right, for sometimes all a person needs is not a brilliant mind that speaks, but a patient heart that listens.”
As we make the road by walking, it is often tempting to pave the road, to put up lights and want everyone else to follow by the same road. It is tempting to believe that the road is the reason we are walking— that somehow the road itself is what is important— and to want everyone to walk on the same road, in the same way, and to have the same experience we are having.
Jesus, in his sermon on the mount in Matthew 5, reminds us that taking a legalistic approach to following God will not work out very well. It’s not that he wants to throw out the law— quite the opposite! Jesus comes to show us that following the heart of the law (what we might call the Old Testament) is even more demanding and yet more freeing than following the letter of the law. Jesus calls us to be kind rather than right.
Ask for forgiveness from your neighbor; make amends in your marriage; forgive your enemy; turn the other cheek. These are not things we do if we think we are “right.” They are, however, what God calls us to do in order to stay in relationship. God calls us to be kind. There are limits, for the health of individuals, but in a culture in which we more often than not fall into creating drama, choosing the latest soundbite that will do the most damage, and moving on rather than staying put, it takes a lot of discipline to keep on being kind, keep on loving our neighbor, keep on being patient and generous and wise.
How are your relationships today? Where are you in need of prayer, and who can you ask to pray for you and with you?