During World War II, while England was being battered by Nazi Germany, Prime Minister Winston Churchill's advice to the people was to "keep calm and carry on." In our own time, the phrase has enjoyed countless permutations, most of them fun and entertaining. A recent article in the Parade section of our newspaper put a new spin on Churchill's advice: "Be kind and carry on." The article marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, who dedicated her time as a member of the royal family to touching the unfortunate with compassion and compassionate help.
I find this new wrinkle on Churchill's words to be a wonderful bit of advice: to make kindness a part of our daily business. To be kind as we carry on, so to speak, does not make kindness an event; rather it makes kindness represent more and more who we are becoming.
The Apostle Paul included kindness in his list of gifts of the Holy Spirit, a reminder that kindness extends well beyond any effort on our part to be nice. Kindness is the work of God, in us and through us. As we depend on the Holy Spirit to conform us ever closer to the character of Jesus Christ, we will find that we will be able to offer kindness to others as an extension of who we are in Him. Being kind as we carry on will then become the rhythm of our days.