Tag Archives: kindness

Sweetness

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The honey bee finds food here and we find food from the honey bee.

Sweetness in food is good, but sweetness in spirit is better.

How does one find sweetness in this life?

Where is the best place to find those things which make up a sweet spirit?

Peace, gentleness, kindness, thoughtfulness, genuine compassion,
love.

These things are difficult to find in the marketplace.

It’s amazing that with the variety of items for purchase, kindness cannot be.

Gentleness is not a garment which can be worn at will.

True love which gives and sacrifices without looking for personal gain is precious indeed, yet no amount of money will secure it.

Thoughtfulness takes careful training and continual practice to be a daily reaction.

Yet, as difficult as these things are to find, the world would certainly be a howling wilderness without them.

Where do they come from?

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV

So the most valuable items are not for sale.

Instead God offers them to us freely.

The only way to truly walk in these things is to be in close personal relationship with God Almighty.

It doesn’t happen over night.

It doesn’t come upon demand.

It’s a by-product of self-to-death and God-as-Lord.

When Jesus Christ is the very fabric of a person then there will be these things present also.

“Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the most priceless gifts. I’ve never known a time when I couldn’t find peace in Your arms or gentleness in Your comfort. When I’m struggling You give me the  self-control I’m lacking. When I’m tired of the battle You give me long-suffering and love abundantly, for I know every battle against evil is worthwhile, please help me to remember we do not fight flesh and blood. Your goodness sustains me when all the World seems full of wrong. Thank You, Father. Thank You!”

Washed by the Word

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“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Eph. 4:31-32

These words can be simple.

Of course we should forgive.

No one wants to be an angry, evil spouting, unforgiving,  unloving,  spiteful person.

No one wants to be the person whom others dread.

The person which is so unpredictably poor tempered everyone walks on eggshells around them.

Yet,
unfortunately,
I know some people who fit this description.

What’s even worse,
I’ve had times in my life,
I’ve been this person.

Complaining, grumbling, and ill tempered.

The key to avoiding or reversing this pattern is spelled out.

Put it away.
Stop.
Forgive.
Love.
Control your tongue.
Control your emotions.
Seek peace.
Walk in thankfulness.
Daily remember: Christ forgave you. 
Your account is paid in full.
Your sins are washed away.

I like to think of it as the beach when the tide is out.

The water recedes and reveals all manner of hidden things.

Not unlike the Word of God to help me view my heart and the things normally  not visible.

Then the Lord shows me all He wants to do. Whether it means cleaning off the rubbish left behind by hurt or struggle, or it means gathering together the little treasures of blessings often unnoticed under the daily grind.

So, as I meditate on this verse I pray.

“Lord Jesus, please show me anyone I’m with holding forgiveness from. Please flood my heart with love for the people in my life.

Father, show me how to put off words which hurt and instead be tenderhearted and kind. Help me to see from the other perspective.

Lord, help me never start a day without thanking You for the forgiveness and love you pour out on me daily.

Please continue to speak to my heart through Your scriptures so I can see myself clearly. ”

I’m so thankful for God’s Word which washes me daily!

Kindness matters

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It almost seems a lost art.

Or something which is only brought out for special occasions.

Yet kindness is God’s idea, not man’s.

“For the mountains shall depart,
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed, ”
Says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
Isaiah 54:10 NKJ

It is listed as a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22.

Yet, it seems to be difficult to display.

A few weeks ago I was shopping with all the kids. Just as I turned the cart down an isle I heard a very strange sound.

It was the sound of items hitting the floor.

Many items.

I let go of the cart, walked back a few steps to see our son stretched across a shelf in the vain, but desperate hope of holding many little plastic bottles upright.

My reaction was far from kind.

I was in a hurry.

I instantly assumed he’d been messing with them and had knocked the first row over.

“What are you doing?!”

“Mommy, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to! I just bumped it and they fell!”

I realized he was truly upset, and was trying to fix his error.

I changed my tone of voice, and determined to respond with gentleness and understanding.

“Okay buddy, don’t worry. I’ll help you put them all back.”

He was trying not to cry and bravely bent over to pick up a plastic tube.

I  grabbed the nearest one, set it on the shelf.

I let go and began to pickup another when I saw what must have occurred moments before.

The plastic tube wasn’t weighted correctly and instantly tipped backward into the others behind it.

Before I could think about how to react, it was like watching dominoes.

All the way to the back of the shelf they fell, then that line tipped the one next to it. Within a few seconds,  the entire contents of the shelf were spilling to the floor.

The first store employee to respond was a friend of our oldest.

He looked surprised, told us not to worry, then rushed to get something to begin the clean up.

The manager came next and had a similar reaction to my mess as I had to our son’s.

“Please Mame, don’t touch anything else. Just leave it alone.”

I’m certain he wasn’t trying to be unkind.

He simply was trying to stop the chaos.

The real kindness came at the check out.

As we stood unloading our cart I continued to reassure our son he wasn’t in trouble and the store wasn’t asking us to leave.

“Will they let us shop here again?”

“I’m certain they will. ”

The checker inquired as to the circumstance.

Upon my retelling she (understandably) laughed.

It was too much for our son.
He burst into tears.

She immediately stopped, walked around the counter, and threw her arms around him.

She apologized for laughing and reassured him he wasn’t in trouble or at fault.

Her kindness mattered.

I wish I had responded like that in the first place.

So, in the future, and I mean each day,
I’m asking the Lord to help me be kind.

To teach me true brotherly love so I’m able to respond instead of react.

Neighbors

neighborsGen. 33:18 “Then Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan Aram; and he pitched his tent before the city.”
The tents were raised, and the herdsmen settled into the countryside, and the sounds and smells of building camp reverberated.
But soon there would be trouble with the neighbors.
Gen. 34:30a “Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, ‘You have troubled me by making me obnoxious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites;’”
God spoke to Jacob and told him to move and to live in a different place.
How did things go wrong?
In this case one poor decision led to another and, as is common, sin ran rampant, ending tragically with murder, grief, and lifelong consequences. Jacob never forgot this moment in time and how his sons had tricked an entire town and then excused their behavior in the cloak of revenge.
How we treat those around us makes a difference.
Are we thoughtful of our neighbors?
Do we speak with understanding to the harried teller at the checkout or bank window?
Are there missed opportunities to show gentleness and kindness to others?
It is easy to say, “Love your neighbor” but can often cost us more than we are willing to give.
Recently I was standing with my three youngest children in a line.
A LONG line, at the airport, waiting to be scanned yet again (I had lost track at this point how many times we had already been scanned).
The kids were very tired and hungry and the last thing they wanted to do was wait.
I smiled at each of them as often as I could with words of encouragement that we were having a wonderful opportunity to learn patience and that those who can learn at an early age to wait gracefully would truly be ahead–for life is full of waiting.
As we continued to weave around and around the serpentine two grown men began to complain behind me.
They seemed to grow louder and more abusive with their berating of the airline, the laws, the people who were taking so long, the airport staff…
I tried to maneuver our kids away from such talk as they were already struggling with their attitudes.
I explained again to each of them that the reason for all the lines and scans and questions was the air port personnel were trying to make sure we were safe. That each of these things was put in place to guard us from danger.
They kids nodded and trudged on.
When finally we were free of that line I pulled the kids aside and apologized for the things the men were saying. Thankfully none of them had paid any attention and therefore didn’t have a clue what I was talking about.
I smiled.
We soon found ourselves in a new line.
A man traveling alone was behind us and at one turn in the line our son tripped and banged into the roller suitcase the man had in front of him.
I quickly apologized and took Jason’s hand to help him walk in front of me.
The man simply laughed.
“Well, I was not paying attention a little while ago and actually ran my bag into him first, so I guess it is pay back!”
I laughed in return and then tried to hush our boy as he looked at the man and stated, “Yah, don’t do that again.”
The man simply laughed more.
That was the end of any conversation but the rest of the line was much more pleasant. I knew that there was a good neighbor behind us.
What a difference a little grace can make!
That must be what Jesus meant when he told the story of the Good Samaritan. He wanted us to live for those around us as He lives for us.