When kids walk in the door after school, parents are eager to know ”How was your day? What did you do?” If your family is anything like mine. The replies are either groans, eye rolls, or one word answers like “boring” and “nothing.” Britt, my wonderful and energetic niece who is high school freshman informed me via text that her first day back was bad.
Maybe we are asking the wrong questions. Courtney Byrne suggests asking “How were you kind?” She found the afterschool conversation turned to 1) something positive 2) a chance to talk about the unkindness of the day 3) a way to learn what kindness and compassion really is. Check out her witty and humorous blogpost at http://www.scarymommy.com/talking-kids-about-kindness-after-school/?utm_source=FBOnsite
I think Courtney is on to something and not just for our kids! Instead of the focus being on ourselves and our own day, “How were you kind?” invites us to look beyond our own wants to the needs of others. What if we answered that question EVERY day? Would it change the way we look at those we meet–in the hallway, in the store, in the office, on the sports team, in our own family, in the world?
One of our human tendencies is to turn in on ourselves, but Gospel propels us to others. Our Bible reading for this week comes from Matthew 16:21-28. Jesus tells his disciples: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”
• Ask and tell someone about “how you were kind today” regularly for a couple of weeks.
• What did being kind cost you?
• What new life did you discover in looking out for someone else?
• How is Jesus with you in those relationships?