Since when did doing something nice turn into a character assault? I was at DFW a few days ago, waiting in the TSA pre-check line (yes one of the few advantages of much too frequent travel), when a man in front of a group of us was standing in front of the TSA agent. The agent informed the man that he had been standing in the wrong line and did not qualify as pre-check. Now, she could have very well told him that he had to go stand in the correct line, but that’s not what she did. She walked him over to the correct TSA agent and they processed him right away. The passenger did not lose his place in line, he was just “transferred”. Two places in line ahead of me, a gentleman said, “well, she’s a lot nicer than I would have been”. Inferring that the woman was “too” nice. Is there really such a thing as too nice? Have we come to the place where niceness is seen as weakness?
Now maybe, I’m projecting too much on this man, but it occurred to me as he made his comment, shouldn’t we all ascribe to be that nice. Wouldn’t it be awesome if instead of his comment, the man would have said “wow, what a model of kindness”? Not only should we be seeking out models of niceness, we should be models ourselves. What if we took it as a challenge to “out nice” people. What if we went out of our way to show kindness to strangers? You know what would happen? We would be fulfilling Jesus commandment, that’s what would happen.
As Jesus said, “as you have done to the least of these, so have you done to me” (paraphrase). Not that we must use the excuse, oh I must act as if this is Jesus. I don’t believe that is what the Christ is saying. I think He is telling us that we are to show the same level of compassion on our fellow man that he did to the worst of sinners. Why do I think that? Because that is exactly what He did with me. The worst of sinners, he showed compassion on me and redeemed me. Let’s make an effort, a conscious choice to go far and above what kindness we think we should give, let’s show Christ’s grace, mercy and compassion on a dying world. Lord knows we need it.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ – Matthew 25:40