Cultivate Kindness

by Marvin Copaus ~

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”—Gal. 5:22-23 (ESV)

A year ago, I was admitted to the hospital for an infection. Little did I know that I’d be there almost a week! While there, I learned a lot about those who took care of me and some of the joys and challenges they face. God used that time to not only heal me physically, but to remind me that kindness is one of the most powerful ways we can minister to others.

I noticed quickly the amount of stress these folks are under. The caregivers at this particular hospital work twelve-hour shifts, with little time to take a break or even grab a bite to eat. Most of them deal with losing patients by wiping their tears and then trying gamely to smile while moving on to take care of the next patient. And even then, many patients don’t treat them with honor and respect.

God led me to engage several of these sweet people in conversation. I met:

A young lady whose father, a pastor, had died in a car wreck when she was 14;
A man with two young adult autistic sons;
A mom raising two daughters while her husband started a business out of state;
A food worker trying to find out her place in the world;
And an older woman who realized that, even though her job was taking out the trash, her ministry was encouraging each patient in Jesus’ name.

God touched my heart with each conversation. I spent as much time listening as their schedules would allow, and tried to shower each one with kindness. Even as I was leaving, God used someone else’s kindness to affect me. When I asked the person who wheeled me down to the car how he was doing, he said, “I’m great. God is in control.”

Next time you’re waiting in line, your food order is incorrect, or someone at church tells you they don’t like the song you chose — be kind. You never know how much the other person is hurting. They may not even know it, but they need the kindness you can offer — and God will use it to change their lives, and yours.

About the Author: Marvin Copaus is a Sales Representative at Brentwood Benson. He has been with the company almost 20 years and in music ministry 40 years. Marvin and his wife Rita live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with their two sons, along with several dogs and cats. Marvin currently serves churches in Middle Tennessee by doing international interim music ministry.

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