Have you thought much about what makes a person worthy of trust? When I think about that question my answer is generally that the person is honest with me, keeps their word, and doesn’t reveal my heart’s secrets. Are those the things which come to your mind?
However, when it comes to those heart secrets there is one more word that comes to mind: kindness. I know several people who are honest with me, keep their word, and won’t reveal the secrets of my heart. However, I don’t share my heart secrets with them. I hide them. I won’t let them completely in. Why? It is because of kindness. If I do not see a person practicing kindness to others, I simply won’t trust them with my heart.
Think with me about two amazing people of the Scripture – Ruth and Boaz. Most of us know their story. We don’t know their story as a great story of faith, nor is their story one of those amazing and heroic journeys. No, what Ruth and Boaz are known for is their great kindness. Ruth showed it to Naomi by sticking with her through thick and thin. Boaz showed it to Ruth by protecting her in the field and providing for her and Naomi’s needs. Simple stuff, to be sure, but it meant a great deal to these folks. In fact, Boaz comments several times on the kindness of Ruth. He comments on her kindness to Naomi and her kindness towards him. He says, “May you be blessed of the LORD, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich.” (Ruth 3:10)
The book of Ruth could just be another history of normal people. However, we read it as a love story. Even Ruth’s declaration of commitment to Naomi has been turned into wedding vows. Do you remember these words, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17)? Who did Ruth say those words to? She said them to her mother in law, Naomi!
What makes us read the book of Ruth as a romance? It is because of the nature of kindness. We can almost see the love dripping from its pages. Kindness communicates this. It communicates that my heart is safe in your hands. Kindness tells me that I won’t be betrayed by deed or by word.
Our challenge today: Demonstrate that you can be trusted with the hearts of the people in your life by being kind. Perhaps you’ve noticed some distance in your marriage or in your relationships with your kids. Could it be that kindness is missing? By the way, kindness is not a “fix”. We can’t use it as a gimmick to get what we want from others. If we do, we will teach those in our lives that their heart is not safe in our hands. They will know instinctively that while we are nice, we are not truly kind. Kindness is consistent. Kindness chooses relationship over efficiency. It chooses relationship over and over and over. So, our question today… are you choosing kindness in your life?
Something to think about,