Story Scripture: But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. – Luke 6:35
Story Saying: Always be a little kinder than necessary. – James M. Barrie
Behind the Story: Few would dispute that Cinderella is the queen of fairy tales. Hardly any other fairy tale has been so widely read, loved, or adapted. And perhaps that is because of the story’s overarching theme of kindness. Before she dies, Cinderella’s mother tells her, “Dear child, be good and pious, and then the good God will always protect you.” Cinderella does not fail in obeying her mother’s last words. She remains pious and good towards everyone and everything that comes into her life, including her mean stepmother and step-sisters.
Unlike Cinderella, the stepmother and step-sisters are vile and black of heart. They bully Cinderella, call her names, take away all her nice clothes, force her to cook and clean for them, and make her life downright miserable. Hemmed in by a trio of mean girls, Cinderella never retaliates. She responds to their hate with love, their contempt with respect, and their nastiness with kindness. Nothing they do can make Cinderella treat them like they treat her. At the end of the story, Cinderella receives a great reward for her kindness. She marries the prince and lives happily ever after in happiness and wealth. What happens to the step-sisters? They have their eyes pecked out, and because of their wickedness and falsehood, they are punished with blindness for the rest of their days.
Out of all the beautiful women at the royal ball, what made the prince notice Cinderella? Perhaps her splendid and magnificent gown caught his eye and attracted him to her, but it was her kind heart that made him love her and search until he found her so they could be together forever.
Why did the step-sisters come to such an unfortunate end? The pigeons should certainly be given credit for their pecking, but it was really Cinderella’s kindness that killed them.
How did Cinderella come to be crowned princess? It wasn’t her looks or her smarts or any talent or her dancing skills. It was her kindness.
Some misunderstanding souls have linked kindness with weakness, but nothing could be further from the truth. Kindness is a virtue of the strong. All we have to do is look at the life of Jesus as an example. There are many themes that run throughout the narrative of His story – grace, mercy, forgiveness, salvation, etc., but the supreme theme of Jesus’ story is love. Kindness is an offspring of love. Jesus the Christ was lashed, slapped, mocked, spit on, called names, and lied on, but He never responded to His haters with hate. He always responded with kindness, and He did this because He loved them and He loves us.
We are to love our enemies. We are to do good to those who don’t like us. We are to give to others even when they give nothing back to us. If we do not show kindness to all people, we cannot call ourselves the children of God because God is kind to the ungrateful and the thankful, the wicked and the righteous. Even though it may not be immediately reciprocated, we should never think that our kindness is in vain. No kind act goes unnoticed by Jesus the Christ and His Father. They promise a great reward for every act of kindness.