At times, I cannot help but notice how some people in the world today are growing colder and less friendly to their fellow man than in years gone by. Living in the South, it is a common occurrence to see strangers say “Hello” to one another on the street, but I have noticed that the small gestures of kindness that used to be so prevalent in our society 50 years ago are slowly fading away, even among members of the church of Christ. So, I have decided to focus this article on a list that I have put together of things that it doesn’t hurt anyone to do:
1. It doesn’t hurt anyone to say “Hello” in response to someone else’s greeting, or, dare I say it, be the first to say “Hello!” Verbalizing a greeting to one another should be one of the easiest things to do. You don’t have to be an extrovert to just say “Hello” to someone. You also do not have to wait for the other person to say “Hello” to you first. All you have to do is have enough love in your heart for others to want to show your love and friendliness towards them. Whether we see someone in town, or we have guests over at our home, we should ALWAYS greet them, even if they do not initiate the greeting themselves. “Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.”(I Peter 5:14).
2. It doesn’t hurt anyone to be encouraging to others: We should always try to say and do things to make others feel good. We never know what another person is facing in his or her life, even if that person seems to be happy and to “have it all.” We should always try to find ways to lift the spirits of others, which will in turn, lift our spirits up as well! We do not have to wait until people are upset or facing challenges in order to be encouraging to them. We can encourage others during their good times and challenging times! “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24).
As Christians, we should not be the type of people who sit back and expect encouragement to come to us. Rather, we should be willing to take the time to encourage others! When everything is said and done in your life, people will not remember you for all of the things that you accomplished, they will remember you the most according to how you made them feel! We should all strive to be like Barnabas, who in Acts 4:36 was called the "son of consolation" due to his great encouragement to the disciples of Christ!
3. It doesn’t hurt anyone to go out of their way to help others. This is something that is on the decline, even in the church. It used to be the case that people would go out of their way to help someone in need, whether it be to help them fix something, give them money or food, or even give them a way to attend church services. Today, there are some people out there, even Christians, who are only willing to help others when it is convenient for them (i.e. they get something in return, or it doesn’t require too much effort on their part). Jesus tells us to do MORE than what is asked of us for those in need. “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”(Matthew 5:41).
As Christians, we should always be willing to help when asked, especially when the help is being requested by another Christian. Christian women should always be ready to help in the church. Whether we are asked to teach a Bible class, VBS class, serve others food, or whatever the case may be, we should always be sure to put the needs of others ahead of ourselves. Philippians 2:3 tells us to "in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." We should think about how we would want to be treated if the shoe was on the other foot "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets" (Matthew 7:12)
4. It doesn’t hurt anyone to say, “I’m Sorry.” This is a big issue for some people who do not want to apologize for anything. When we have made a mistake or have done something wrong, we must be willing to apologize to anyone involved. I have seen it be the case in recent years that more people are less willing to show humility and apologize. We are to be humble servants of God rather than live with pride in our hearts. Those who are unwilling to apologize for their mistakes are doing so out of pride. “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble”. (James 4:6). In order for us to be faithful Christians, we must resist the urge to be prideful, but rather, embrace a meek and humble spirit. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10).
These are just a few examples of ways that I think some people in our world today can improve on the way they think, feel, and act. Our lives are temporary and “like a vapor” (James 4:14). Therefore, we should do all we can to help others and to serve God faithfully while we are still here on the earth. No matter what we have to give up or how much energy we have to use in order to serve God and help others, we will know that all of our efforts were worth it when we reach our home in Heaven! “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:12-14).