Christians must practice kindness as they stand up for Scripture because they are representing Jesus to a lost world, actress and author Candace Cameron Bure says.
“Kindness doesn’t mean you have to be agreeable,” Bure told her brother Kirk Cameron during an episode of his show Takeaways on TBN. “It just means you have to be kind and respectful within the conversation or whatever action is taking place.”
Bure’s brother noted that she had spent years as a Christian on the world stage, including on the television series The View, where she often was the one Christian voice. Ratings, he added, often “get better when you ditch the kindness” and shout.
“How do you manage to stay kind with people who are not being kind in return?” he asked.
“I always try to think about their perspective or where they’re coming from,” Bure answered. “… I think trying to look at it [and] … hear their perspective and have empathy can help defuse that.
A gentle voice, she added, often “will defuse a situation.”
“That’s why I’ve always tried to keep that gentle, calm voice in the face of the argument,” she said.
Cameron quoted Proverbs 15:1: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Practicing kindness is not the same as being passive, Bure said.
“We can still be kind and loving but speak truth and be strong in those words and stand up for God, stand up for what’s right,” she said. “We just don’t have to yell and scream and pound our fists and just say things that we’ll regret. It’s about being calm and sober in demeanor, and having those respectful conversations, even if they’re not in agreement.”
The world, she said, is watching how Christians react to controversial situations.
“It’s so important to represent Christ well, and I think that means taking a pause, taking a breath, taking a beat,” she said. “Consider the other perspective – where they’re coming from. Take a second to pray. And, then speak your voice, speak your opinion. But I think just that calmness in the very beginning really, really helps when you take that beat and that breath because I don’t think that anyone’s ever going to change their opinion when you yell at them or bark at them and tell them how awful they are for how they’re thinking.”
Cameron said Christians must practice the words of Micah 6:8: “act justly,” “love mercy,” and “walk humbly with your God.”
Bure acknowledged kindness can be difficult.
“Having kindness means you do have to stop and think about it because it’s not the natural instinct,” Bure said. “Then you have to honestly think about, ‘How, how should I respond to this? What would Christ want me to do? How can I be the best ambassador or representative of Christ right now in this situation?'”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alberto E. Rodriguez/Stringer
Video courtesy: ©Kirk Cameron on TBN
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.