A Little Kinder Than Necessary
I’ve mentioned before that I like to read – well, “like” is an understatement. If I’m lucky enough to make it to heaven one day, I’ve made my request known that God fills my mansion with books upon books.
Throughout my 33 years, I’ve read hundreds of tales — some real, some not. Short stories, poems, novellas, 500-plus pages, you name it. But only a select few make it onto my coveted “favorites” list and shelf.
To be part of the best-of-the-best, the book has to resonate with me. It has to leave me pondering and thinking about it several days later. It has to be worthy of a recommendation and a re-read (but let’s be honest — I hardly ever re-read a book (besides the Bible and Book of Mormon) because there are so many books and not enough time!).
One such book is "Wonder." This isn’t my typical read, mostly because it’s targeted at young adults and students in middle school. But, I found it to be appropriate for any age. Wonder is the story of August Pullman, a boy born with a facial difference that, until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting fifth grade at Beecher Prep, all he wants is to be treated as an ordinary kid— but his classmates can’t seem to get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.
I don’t want to spoil the book for you, but I do want to share the quote that put "Wonder" on my elite list. The principal shares these thoughts at the end of the schoolyear:
“If every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary — the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.”
And that got me thinking.
Do I act like that? Do I act “a little kinder than necessary”? Do I go just one step further? Or do I do the bare minimum? And perhaps most importantly, what does God expect from me?
Christ acted “a little kinder than necessary.” In fact, He was the epitome of kindness. He could have come for the saints, but He came for the sinners. He could have stayed with His disciples, but He went to the cross.
That is the ultimate definition of being “a little kinder than necessary.”
What happens when we go just a little bit further or make just a bit more of an effort — with our spouses, our children, a stranger, at school, at church?
Blessings. Blessings upon blessing upon blessings.
If you happen to pick up "Wonder," you’ll understand how this lesson ties into Auggie’s story. But for us, showing kindness, empathy, and compassion is a must. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors, and by doing so, they will see God in us.
Don’t settle for the mediocre. Give your best to the Master. Knock their socks off.
Be a little kinder than necessary.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.