Think of your toughest relationship. Think of a relationship that is good but could be great. Whether it is a romantic partner, co-worker, child, sibling, or your hard-to-please in-law, you can transform any relationship. How? By intentionally applying true, biblical kindness every day.
At the most basic level, kindness is made up of three things: withholding unkindness, verbally saying kind things, and doing kind and generous things.
Simple, right? Not so much. Most people far overestimate how kind they really are -- and have no idea how often unkindness slips out.
In the days ahead, as you read this content, consider how Christ modeled kindness and instructed us to do the same. When a relationship is challenging, for example, it is crucial to look at the other person through Christ's eyes; to see them as He sees them. As we do, we will see their positive attributes and contributions, not just their shortcomings. When we speak, we will express words of affirmation to them rather than unintentionally tearing them down. And we will be generous with the little things that say "you're valuable" -- whether that is our time, our undivided attention, or the very last piece of chocolate cake.
We need a training ground to become people of true kindness -- and our research identified a great opportunity. In parallel with this study, we strongly suggest that you consider taking The iDisciple 30-Day Kindness Challenge.
Here's how it works. Pick one person with whom you want to improve your relationship. Then each day for thirty days; say nothing negative about that person (either to them or about them to someone else!), intentionally praise them (to them and to someone else!) and do at least one little act of generosity for them. You can see more and sign up here, and receive extra support, tips, and coaching. In my research, 89% of those who took the Challenge improved their relationships. Because, in the end, kindness most transforms us.
This growth plan is based on The Kindness Challenge: 30 Days to Improve Any Relationship by Shaunti Feldhahn.