Earlier this week my friend and I decided to go to Starbucks. The inside was packed so we decided to go through the drive-thru.
The line was particularly long on this day, and the line was wrapped around the little shopping center that the drive-thru was located in.
There was a point in the line were two lanes of traffic intersected and you had come to a mutual understanding of who gets to go next.
Well, I thought since I’d been in line a while at this point, that I should get to order before a lady who had come from another side of the center and was about to get to cut the whole line.
The person behind me started getting really close to show that he wasn’t going to let the lady in either and when I looked in my rearview mirror I noticed everyone else had tightened up as well. So, I decided to go ahead and let the lady in.
She waved like four times and mouthed thank you. I didn’t think much of it at the moment, but we continued to wait in line until it was finally our turn to get to order.
When we got to the window, I reached out to pay for our coffee, and we were told the lady in front of us paid for both of our coffees.
Bear with me, because there’s a point to all of this.
This is a story of how a little grace (giving someone something they don’t necessarily deserve) and kindness go further than I think people realize.
A simple thing such as letting a lady get into line before me, which by the way only added about three total minutes onto my wait, caused her to show kindness and generosity to us.
We had the opportunity to bring in happiness and good vibes rather than cause frustration and negative vibes.
So for this one story, I’m going to give you three reasons why you should spread kindness and grace daily.
1) The Bible asks us to
First and foremost, the Bible calls upon us to be graceful and kind.
We have Matthew 7:12 that says, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them….”
The Golden Rule! Most of this learned this in school growing up right? This is an obvious one. If I pulled up to Starbucks on the wrong side of the drive-thru line I would hope that someone would let me in because I know that I would let others in.
But this goes way further than coffee am I right? If I were to make a mistake I would have that someone would judge me for who I am and not for the action.
I have a tendency to do the opposite in traffic.Two lanes are merging and I just assume that the person next to me is trying to cut the whole line instead of waiting like everyone else. But, I have been in a situation where I can tell you that I got to the end of the lane and realized that I had to get over and no one would let me because they were probably thinking the same thing.
I assure you this goes far beyond traffic and cars too. Someone is rude to you when your checking out at the local grocery store —> kindness
Someone is rude to you when your checking out at the local grocery store —> kindness
Someone has trespassed against you —-> grace
I’ll end this section with Proverbs 11:24-25, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
2) Monkey see, monkey do
This one I’m sure you have seen or witnessed from experience. One small act of kindness or grace encourages and empowers others to do the same thing.
I let a lady go in front of me in line and she bought me coffee. I understand this doesn’t always happen but letting kindness and grace spread would never be a bad thing.
3) There are health benefits
I once heard there’s is a portion of your brain that can’t distinguish the difference between helping others and helping yourself. While I couldn’t find that online I did go to google scholar and type in “Benefits of Kindness.”
And, just like I thought, there were an array of positive effects that kindness had on people. One study found that it was therapeutic and that it actually helped trouble teens. The same study found that kindness led to an increase in forgiveness. (1)
There was another study that showed increased kindness lead to being more connected in your social life. (2)
Lastly, there was a finding that kindness led to a decrease in negative effects for patients with schizophrenia. (3) I don’t fully understand that one but, I do think that it is really awesome that kindness fights schizophrenia!
So, what will be your reason for the season? Whatever it is, I challenge you to share kindness and grace this week.