The Cost of Kindness

Kindness Ain’t Free

I’ve heard the saying, “It doesn’t cost anything to be kind.”

I respectfully disagree. It’s been my experience that there’s always a price to pay. And I have to make the conscious decision to pay it.

Acts of Kindness

For example:
— Driving a neighbor to the doctor
— Volunteering time to a charity
— Helping a buddy move to a new apartment

Acts of kindness often mean spending (or wasting) valuable moments of life that I won’t get back.

Helping others without the thought of getting something in return is noble and selfless — and can be a difficult decision. Especially if those actions aren’t recognized or appreciated.

And setting limits to take care of myself and still be as helpful as I can, is sometimes even more difficult.

Words of Kindness

For example:
— Saying “Please” and “Thank you”
— Speaking about the positive in a situation more than I talk about the negative aspects
— Taking time to consider the impact of words before I speak them

Words of kindness are sometimes spoken out of habit. In that case, the motivation isn’t kindness, and very well may be me trying to get my way. The person on the receiving end of those words may know the words aren’t sincere, and not feel valued or appreciated.

Time and brainpower are the price to find and focus on the positive. And squashing my know-it-all “this is what is going to happen” opinion is the price I pay for not blowing the negative out of proportion.

Choosing words carefully to avoid hurting someone can be one of the hardest things to do.

The argument that “the truth is the truth and ‘they’ need to hear it” is a judgment and decision that I must pray about before I say anything.

I agree with the quote by Warren Wiersbe:

“Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.”

Unfortunately, I’ve erred on both sides of that, and the pain I inflicted definitely took too high a toll on my relationships.

Rewards of Kindness

Thankfully, kindness doesn’t just cost us. There are many rewards for acting or speaking with kindness.

One is that others choose to be kind right back. Not everyone, of course, but most people do the best they can.

But to me, the greatest reward is that I know I’ve treated others as I want to be treated.

And that’s worth any price I have to pay.

What helps you pay the cost of kindness? How do you avoid paying too high a price?

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Joni Vance is an award-winning author of fiction, essay, and poetry. She loves mystery, history, and how God reveals Himself every day.


May God reveal the mystery of His love in your life story.

2 thoughts on “The Cost of Kindness

  1. This is a hard topic. Thanks for tackling it. I think, for me, wanting to be pleasing to God helps me be kind. Being worn out makes it harder for me to be kind and usually I withdraw until I can get rested up and go back to being kind again:)

    • Thanks for sharing. Choosing kindness and respect is difficult at times. Thankful God helps me – and keeps giving me more chances! 🙂

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