2017-08-16 - Kindness
I imagine if you’ve looked at anything in the news in the last day or two, you might agree we need more training on kindness. I believe while some are more inclined to exude kindness, it is also equally as true that many of us have our moments in which we could use a lesson or two in improving our understanding, humanity and affection toward our fellow man. While the media tends to focus on what’s wrong, very often with little mention of how to truly help, it seems to me the latter might be of more benefit long term; how can we help?
Hatred is not a new concept.
Even if you don’t believe that a Savior chose to be beaten and killed for the purpose to making sure God’s children could be with him eternally, then you have to live in a hole to not know that loathing, hostility, and repulsion for people or ideas continues all the time, despite any lack of reasoning to support it. As much as our first fleshly instincts are to combat hatred with contempt, we need to rather focus on kindness as a long-term solution. Yes, people who commit acts of violence including assault, vandalism and even to the point of manslaughter or homicide need to be held accountable for their actions. God’s word is clear on discipline for those actions in the Old Testament and New Testament. However, ultimately the goal is changing hearts with kindness, as Jesus did in his short time walking the earth. Below are a few examples of the results of the kindness.
“And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. And he said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.” (Ruth 3:9-11)
“And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.” (Esther 2:9)
“Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:25-27)
“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” (Isaiah 54:10)
“And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” (Joel 2:13)
“And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.” (Jonah 4:2)
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;” (Colossians 3:12)
“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” (Titus 3:3-5)
“And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (love). For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:6-8)
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All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.