How to stay kind when the world throws you chaos

Candace Bure Cameron knows the refreshing secret to the good life: Now more than ever we all need to be kind to one another. The world needs us to belong to each other, to hear each other, to hurt with each other, to be kind to one another. No one ever killed anyone with kindness —- only the dark is killed by kindness. The rest of us are resurrected by kindness. I met Candace one quiet evening about two year ago, and quickly realized that well she may be well known for Full House or Fuller House – or her many other shows, movies or books she’s written…what is so striking about her, is how she lives as the daughter of Jesus Christ. Candace writes with a refreshing air of Christ-breathed humility. Hers is a message of transforming clashing cultural expectations into Savior-imitating kindness, one act at a time, and it’s a powerful one. It’s a grace to welcome Candace Cameron Bure to the farm’s front porch today…

guest post by Candace Cameron Bure

People sometimes ask me, “How do you not lose it when you’re being attacked and criticized?

I got that question a lot when I was on The View, and I get it now whenever the media is dismissive of me in light of my faith or political views.

Fans or viewers tell me they feel like fighting on my behalf, which I completely understand.

What they really want to know is, how can I stay cool, calm, and collected when people are unkind to me?

Here’s the truth. I don’t always feel calm. Rather I’m mindful of my purpose—to glorify God in all I do. 

And that gives me an anchor.

My deep desire is to extend to others just some of the grace constantly extended to me through Jesus Christ.

My faith gives me presence of mind in those moments, and my prayer life gives me strength.

When you have a direct line to the Creator of the universe, you don’t feel as intimidated by worldly things. I can talk to God about anything, and He answers.

Not always the way I want Him to or in the timeline I hope for, but He always answers.

Having been in this business a long time, I’ve developed five secret tools that I use regularly to stay cool.

We all face criticism and conflict, and we all need to know how to handle it with grace.

Here are five methods I’ve learned along the way.

1. Take Deep Breaths

When conflict comes, I take slow, measured breaths—counting to three as I inhale, then counting to three as I exhale.

Do this a few times, and it’s like a mental reset. It’s easy to want to rush to act, but a few breaths work wonders for the body and soul. Breathing helps me quiet the other voices so I can hear God speaking peace and assurance.

God’s supernatural peace is promised to all believers. Philippians 4:7 makes this comforting promise: “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

God’s peace is available to me, and it will guard my heart and mind in a conflict. 

When my emotions start to surge, I need a breath or two to remind me of this truth. Sometimes a few breaths is all it takes.

2. Take a Beat

I borrowed this from my acting career. Taking a beat means sitting still for a moment to let the previous line or joke sink in.

I often count quietly to myself. This does not always come easily. 

It’s a discipline I’ve learned over time.

But when I put it into practice, I always feel more in control, which makes everything much easier.

I’ve found that when I take a beat, I can smile after a few breaths. I’m not talking about a pasted-on smile. I’m not ignoring the situation in front of me.

But taking a breath and then taking a beat helps me tap into a peace that pervades the rocky moments. I’ve experienced that peace more times than I can count.

3. Switch Roles

After I breathe and take a beat to remember who (or whose!) I am, I mentally switch sides, trying to think about the other person’s perspective.

Most often when I do this, I discover that the other person’s words or behavior reveals fear, pain, sadness, or discomfort.

When I see the vulnerable person behind the fuss, compassion comes naturally.

This is one way my belief that all people are made in the image of God plays out practically. We each have God-given value and God-given emotions.

When I remember that my opponent in a conflict is an image bearer, empathy always rises to the surface in my heart.

4. Go to God First

Sometimes I need to sit with my emotional response for a while. I need to name my feelings (“I’m feeling defensive” or “What they said about me hurt because I worked so hard”).

I don’t try to fight how I feel, because emotions aren’t right or wrong; they are value neutral. It’s how we behave that is right or wrong.

The Bible says, “Be angry, and do not sin” (Eph. 4:26 NKJV). In other words, feel what you’re feeling, but don’t hurt others with your words or actions. When we seek the best for everyone, a win-winis possible.

So sometimes I count to ten, say a quick prayer, and then act. Other times I may need to sleep on it before I can act.

But whatever the case, I pray.

God’s Word says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6–7 NKJV).

What is the antidote to anxiety? Thankful prayer.

That means I should be grateful for the person and the circumstance.

After all, God allowed this moment into my life for a reason, whether for discipline or for blessing, or maybe so I could be a blessing to someone else.

Honestly, I don’t usually know why, but I believe that He is a good Father and that He has control. So I need to thank Him for all those things and trust. Prayer is how I do that best.

5. Ask for What You Want

Here’s the hardest part of conflict for me: asking for what I want.

It’s my job to give voice to my needs and concerns. It’s nobody else’s job but mine.

That’s been a hard lesson for me. I could have saved myself a lot of heartache if I had learned it sooner!

Women especially seem to have a hard time with this one. Culturally, many of us have been trained not to speak up for what we want. But frankly, if we don’t, who will? It’s foolish—actually ridiculous—to complain about not having what you want if you don’t speak up for yourself and ask.

I’m not talking about demanding what we want or making requests in ways that are angry and entitled.

But it has helped me tremendously to realize that I am the one who must give voice to what I need.

Rather than simply venting my emotions or cataloging my complaint, I try to cut to the chase in a conflict and calmly, respectfully ask for what I want.

Here’s an amazing truth I never thought I’d write. I’ve learned that sometimes I have to create conflict when my impulse is to keep my mouth closed for the sake of peace.

It’s my job to stand my ground sometimes.

It’s your job to stand your ground sometimes too.

The challenge is to do it with elegance and conviction.

To keep it classy by keeping it kind, no matter what conflict comes our way.

 


Candace Cameron Bure is an actress, producer, and New York Times bestselling author, beloved by millions worldwide from her role as D.J. Tanner on the iconic family sitcoms Full House and Fuller House. She is both outspoken and passionate about her family and faith and continues to flourish in the entertainment industry as a role model to women of all ages. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and three children.

Candace’s newly-released book, Kind is the New Classy: The Power of Living Graciously, reveals the thought patterns and practices that have empowered her to flourish with grace, integrity, and excellence. If you’re a woman struggling to stay true to who God has created you to be in today’s push-shove world, this is a read for you.

Read with joy: You will be holding a kind of resurrection in your hands. The secret is kindness: it’s classy, unexpected, even counter-cultural, and ultimately wins the day. 

[ Our humble thanks to Zondervan for their partnership in today’s devotion ]

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