The Kind Year

The Kind YearLately we have been working with Luke on his behavior at school (he is easily frustrated, a lot like his Mother). Last week I sat him down and told him that this is going to be “The Kind Year”.  We are going to focus on doing a kindness for someone at school or at work every day. Interestingly, [my church] is hosting a Biblical study on overcoming the four major things that trip up our spiritual lives, those being, Anger, Fear, Depression and Worry. This four part series covers 8 hours on each topic, tackled in four Saturdays and last Saturday’s topic happened to be Anger.  In the session I learned that one of the ways we minimize our sin is to re-label it.  Anger is often re-labled as “frustration”.   That is a problem because we don’t have to repent from frustration, it is easier to say “I was frustrated” than “I was angry” and it is easier to justify therefore continuing in a pattern of anger over a long period of time. This was a revelation to me about myself and about Luke. Love is not easily angered and being “easily frustrated” is not acceptable either.  This may seem like a no-brainer but parenting without getting angry is much easier said than done.  Sometimes you don’t realize how big of a problem something is until you’re able to look at it from an objective point of view. I feel like that is what studying the Bible does for me. It pulls away the cobwebs and helps me to see plainly what my problem is when it is starkly contrasted against a Holy God. It is sobering and humbling and brings me to my knees in repentance and gratitude for all the grace God has offered me despite my disobedience.
Here’s the other thing- God does not just command us to turn away from anger, but he tells us to replace it with something else.  That something is kindness.  Ephesians 4:31 says “let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice” then it is immediately followed in verse 32 with “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you”.   I thought that was so amazing given the week we had just had in trying to establish “The Kind Year”. It gave me hope for the both of us that we can change as we seek to become more like Christ.  After all, it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance.