Have you read the verse which says, “Be kind to everyone who is kind to you. Be kind to the people you like. Be kind when you want to impress someone, or when there’s something in it for you”? No, you haven’t seen that verse in Scripture, but Paul wrote to Timothy that “…the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone. . .” (2 Timothy 2:24).

I once witnessed a situation where a Christian sister was obviously unkind to a person simply because she didn’t like that kind of person. Based on her prejudices and some bad experiences she had encountered, she classified a group of people as undesirable. As a result, she was unkind to this person, and it was hurtful and harmful. Another person with whom she is sympathetic came in, and she was very kind and caring to her.

I watched that interaction and my heart hurt to see a Christian treat someone unkindly. Then I realized that I probably do similar things all too often. It’s easy to be kind to people that seem to deserve our kindness. . .but the Bible says we are to be kind to everyone. That includes strangers, people who irritate us, and people who are not kind to us. Everyone includes everyone!

Once I was unkind to a clerk at a hotel who was not very efficient at her job. Her lack of efficiency inconvenienced me just a bit and, though I didn’t say anything, I’m sure the look on my face and my body language was most unkind. How easy it would have been for me to say something kind to her, make her feel a little more comfortable, forget my minor inconvenience, and try to help her out a bit. The Holy Spirit convicted my heart as I walked away, reminding me that the Lord’s servant must be kind to everyone—even people who don’t do their jobs as well as they should.

Praise the Lord we don’t have to do this in ourselves—because we’d never make it! The Holy Spirit within us is there to give us the power to be kind to everyone. I’m praying specifically now that God will help me be kind to strangers, for that seems to be an area where I often fail.

Where do you often fail to be kind? Shore that area up with prayer, and ask God to help you to be kind, as the servant of the Lord should be, to EVERYONE.