Contempt is the number one factor that tears couples apart. Kindness glues couples together. The presence of contempt or kindness is a reliable predictor of the health of relationships not only in a marriage but also in a family, a business, a church and even a country.
• Where do you witness contempt between people?
• When you think of someone who has been kind to you, who comes to mind?
Obviously contemptuous words or actions have a negative bearing on the person receiving them.
• What impact does contempt have on the person delivering the negative words or behaviors?
• What impact does kindness have on the person being kind to another?
Kindness as Followers of Jesus
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
• In the context of these two verses, how is kindness described or contrasted?
Examples of Kindness through Jesus
• In what ways did Jesus set the example of kindness? • Do you recall any teachings Jesus gave on kindness?
• Where are the difficult relationships in your world?
—How could tenderness and forgiveness heal the hurts you have experienced from others?
—Could kindness change the political discourse in our country?
—What difference would kindness make in your marriage and/or family as opposed to contemptuous words and actions?
—Is there a cup of cold water you could offer to a struggling family in need of food or clean clothes or a bed to lay down on?
—Is there an act of kindness that would encourage a lonely widower to endure yet another long afternoon?