Advice from One Older

By |2024-05-29T02:33:13-04:00May 29th, 2024|

“What do I regret?” That was the question New York Times bestselling writer George Saunders answered in his 2013 commencement speech at Syracuse University. His approach was an older person (Saunders) who shared one or two regrets he’d had in life with the younger people (graduates) who could learn something from his examples. He listed a few things people might assume he regretted, like being poor and working terrible jobs. But Saunders said he really didn’t regret those at all. What he did regret, however, were failures of kindness—those opportunities he had to be kind to someone, and he let them pass.

The apostle (Paul) wrote to the believers (church at Ephesus) answering this question: “What does the Christian life look like?” It’s tempting to rush in with our answers, like possessing a particular political view, avoiding certain books or films, worshiping in a particular manner. But Paul’s approach didn’t limit him to contemporary issues. He does mention practicing wholesome talk (Ephesians 4: 29), and ridding ourselves of things like bitterness and anger (v. 31). Then to conclude his “speech,” he says to the Ephesians as well as to us, “Don’t fail to be kind” (v. 32). And the reason behind that is because in Christ God has been kind to you.

Of all the things we believe the Christian life to be, one of them, surely, is to be kind.