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Can We Be Too Kind?

Have you ever been in one of those driving situations where you are behind another car and that driver decides to be a “really nice person.” Maybe their thought is, “I’m going to bless as many people as possible.” The driver at the head of the row coming out of a concert parking lot or attraction, choses to disregard the unwritten rule of taking turns to let another car join the line to exit. So the driver in front sits and allows three or four cars to go ahead. Of course, sometimes when it’s the next car’s turn to let someone else into the line, they are piggy and disregard others. That reaction may even be prompted by waiting for the former magnanimous driver in front. Perhaps it’s a similar situation in a store check-out line, airport gate, or the post office (heaven forbid it’s the driver’s license line). A person may believe that it’s winning them cosmic points by indulging in the good will of a few people while infuriating or ignoring many others.

And the issue is so much bigger than simply being a good citizen and following the rules of the “10 items or Less” grocery line. Giving large sums of money to one cause or to the person on the corner will affect one’s ability to help others in the future. Spending hours listening to the same unchanging complainers detracts from time left for others.

Some people can actually be unkind by attempting to be kind! The Golden Rule is being acted out in many of our daily decisions. There are people to consider behind us besides the ones right in front of us. That can apply to major life decisions impacting family and friends. It may involve family life, business, church and citizenship decisions. The people “behind” are just as important as the people “in front.”

Questions for personal reflection or group discussion:

1. How do you see this topic relating to other personal boundary issues?

2. Read Matthew 20:1-16. Write or share your reactions.

Karen Spruill writes from Florida.

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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