The most important expression of kindness is the Lord’s willingness to forgive us of our sin by providing salvation through his Son. Paul wrote, “in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:7-8).
The Lord has shown us kindness again and again. The Psalmist noted this when he wrote, “For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 117:2). The Lord himself declared his kindness, “For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed” (Isaiah 54:10).
The kindness that our great and magnificent God has shown to us should then be reflected in our relationships with each other. For example, Job lectured his friends, who were of little help to him during his time of tragedy and pain, “To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend” (Job 6:14). Friends help friends during difficult times of life, but Job’s friends were putting the blame on him.
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul reveals the Spirit-empowered virtues of the Christian to be, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). The list of biblical passages regarding kindness is extensive. Needless to say, it is a characteristic of God that should be evident in ourselves and in our children.
I want to encourage us all toward a couple of things. First, let’s pray for a covering of the Holy Spirit over our campus, families, and relationships. We need to join together and pray that the love and kindness of Jesus reigns in the hearts and minds of our students. My hope is for the Lord to instill even more unity on our campus between students, families and the wonderful staff at Horizon Prep.
Second, let’s continue to teach our kids/students how to act and speak kindly towards one another, in all environments. This includes personal interactions at recess or lunch, and for older kids, on social media, where students often hide behind the wall of technology and communicate things they would never say to someone’s face. And it is our responsibility as parents to be vigilant in monitoring our own child’s Facebook, Snap Chat, Instagram, and all the other social media platforms.
Our goal should not be to raise kids who avoid conflict with their peers, for that is a low bar of behavioral expectation. Instead, our goal should be to raise them to go farther, and to speak and to act in a Christ-like manner, showing kindness and uplifting one another. Maybe we could ask our kids at the end of the day, “Who did you encourage today?” or, “Who was having a bad day that you helped feel better?” How powerful would it be to see our students celebrating each other on social media, rather than the all-too-often teenage behavior of bragging about themselves and tearing others down?
A good place to start this lesson is with Jesus’ Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). Horizon Prep is the perfect place for parents and staff to navigate students through relationship issues like these. They are blessed to have a safe place like this to grow through childhood and their teenage years in preparation for life after high school.
Please join me in prayer for a harmonious second half of the school year. Thanks and may God bless each our families!