The Oil of Kindness

There was an old man who carried a little can of oil with him everywhere he went. If he passed through a door that squeaked, he poured a little oil on the hinges. If a gate was hard to open, he oiled the latch. So he went through life lubricating all the hard places and making it easier for those who came after him. People thought he was odd; but the old man went steadily on, refilling his can of oil when it became empty and oiling the hard places he found. He did not wait until he found a creaky door or a rusty hinge and then go home to get his oil; he carried it with him.
There are many lives that creak and grate harshly day by day. They need lubricating with the oil of kindness, gentleness, or thoughtfulness. That can of oil is predominantly one that characterizes the Christian religion. The task of using it belongs to those who claim to be Christians. As the old man kept his oil with him, so we need to keep our Christian kindness handy. It does no good if left at home or in the church.
No doubt you’ve had a day filled with frustration or disappointment. Something breaks down, a phone call with bad news, an unexpected illness, bad weather, or a bad attitude can ruin one?s day. How nice to hear an encouraging word, to get an uplifting note, to feel a warm embrace, or to receive a small gift. A smile can help a lot. If this is how we wish to be treated, let us also treat others the same way (Matthew 7:12).
Paul said, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6).
To the Ephesians Paul said our speech should be “only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).
Keep the machine oiled, and it will last much longer. Keep the heart oiled, and it will bless a thousand other hearts.

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