Glenn McDonald asks the question, “What do you have that sticks or squeaks?” That was the central sales pitch of an old commercial for WD-40. If you don’t know about WD-40, you’ve somehow missed the second most important thing to always have around the house. The first, of course, is duct tape. WD-40, the all-purpose spray lubricant conjured up in 1953 (its name is short for Water Displacement, 40th formula), somehow makes almost everything that moves move better.
So what’s the relational equivalent of WD-40? It’s kindness – one of the most overlooked, underappreciated, miraculous gifts we can ever give to another human being. After decades as a syndicated advice columnist, Ann Landers was asked what, if anything, might legitimately be called the secret ingredient to healthy relationships. “If only people would be kind to each other,” she said.
The Bible makes it clear that kindness is not an elective behavior. And it definitely starts at the Top.
Kindness is attributed to God in the Old Testament: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3). Kindness is attributed to God in the New Testament: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared…” (Titus 3:4).
Kindness is identified as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit – the nine realities that are typically on display in a spiritually mature human life (Galatians 5:22-23). But kindness is so rare. It is rarely displayed in traffic. It is rarely witnessed in legal proceedings. It is rarely heard in conversations between fussy restaurant patrons and exasperated servers. It rarely shapes communication in social media. And it is all too rare in marriages, parenting, and in the drama of caring for aging loved ones.
What do you have, in any of your relationships, that sticks or squeaks? Be kind. Kindness makes almost everything that moves between human beings move better.
-Taken from “Morning Reflections” by Glenn McDonald