Sunday, July 27, 2014

Chapter 4 - Kindness

   $ Galatians 5:22-26 and Colossians 3:12
Kindness: Pleasant in nature, forbearance, sympathetic, and benevolence. 
Forbearance: To be patient
Sympathy:  Harmony of interests and aims; whatever affects one person similarly affects the other person.
Benevolence: Giving

  As we go through this study, I’m sure you’ve realized by now that this study causes one to step back and analysis our genuineness toward people, in this study, and in our relationship with God.   In this study and in life for that matter, as Christians we need to be constantly keeping our hearts and minds in check.  We need to check to see if we are just going through the motions, we need to check if we are just doing things because it’s what you’ve been told is right instead of doing them because we believe they are the right things to do.  See dear readers if we don’t believe that these things are important what is the point of doing this study?  There is no point, we need to want this and desire to be Christians that are influential and life-changing.  People respond when they see the life-changing example in us and are more open when they see Christians be real.

   With that, kindness is an action that cannot be affective unless it given with genuineness, I always can tell when people are being fake-kind to me that irritates me to no end! (And I’m sure that bothers other people too!)  I have a motto, be real or go home.  People can’t take people who aren’t genuine serious, we know that it’s a facade and wonder what someone is really like underneath (or what their true intentions are), do we want to be perceived that way? I don’t think so.    Kindness also goes beyond how you treat others, but to how you act all the time.

    I know someone who is positive and kind every day.   I don’t think I’ve heard one negative thing about anyone ever come out of that person’s mouth, and whenever we talk I have always heard a positive response to everything.  At first I didn’t think this person was real, but then I never witnessed a changed behavior (and I’ve known this person for over two years) and it made me think why am I not like that? Why can’t I be positive all the time, why can’t I always respond with love, why can’t I make every day filled with sunshine? Why wouldn’t I want to be like that? Don’t I want people to be happy? Aren’t I happier when other people around me are happy?

    Kindness is going the extra mile; it’s doing something to help others even when you don’t want to.  It’s doing things strictly for someone else’s gain (and no gain for you).  It’s always respond with love, positiveness, and genuine concern for a person’s well-being even if that person totally grates your cheese.    Christ even says that it is more rewarding to give than to receive.

Acts 20:35: I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak.  And remember the words of the Lord Jesus , that He said, “ It is more blessed to give then to receive.”

  Paul goes on, calling us to do more for the edification (instruction and improvement) of others and less to please ourselves.  We see this pattern throughout scriptures us being called to build each other up and to pursue others needs over our own.  Why shouldn’t we? Didn’t Christ do that in a much greater sense?

Romans  15:1-2: We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.

Galations 6: 9-10:  And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.  

   In Ephesians it spells out for us exactly what kindness isn’t and that we are supposed to stay away from those things.  This also goes back to what we were talking about in chapter 1, what we put in our hearts we put out, and vice versa.  When we make bad habits of negative behavior we in a way create a monster.

Ephesians 4:31-32: 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.

   1 Peter 3:8: Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.

   In 1 Peter we saw the call for one mindedness, in other words work as a team, don’t work against those around you, but rather work as the waves in the ocean push together to create harmony.  It also says to be “courteous” plainly said haha use your manners, don’t be offensive, rather be polite.
I find this scripture of 1 John 3:17 to be so convicting and powerful, it’s so simple and straight forward, but I think it moves me and makes my mind pop every time I read it.

1 John 3:17: But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

   I’m not going to write out this scripture because we will be reading it when we study love in a few chapters, but I encourage you to read it on your own because it is such an important passage.  This is a true definition of what love looks like, and kindness is just a small part of what love is and how deep it goes.  (Okay,  I changed my mind…)

1 Corinthians 13:4-7: Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in inequity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

   Fun Fact: One thing that is so important in English is to understand punctuation and its significance.  A semi-colon (;) is such an important mark because it’s a symbol of something from the following sentence having the ability to stand on its own, yet still needs to be included in the previous sentence because their relationship is just that important! Did you notice how many semi-colons were included in that entire paragraph? There were five, it is so rare to see that many in such a small place. (God must have wanted us to notice something…) (I get super excited about these sort of things)

(This is Jesus talking) Matthew 25:34-41: “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’  “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed You, or thirst and give You drink? ‘When did we see You as a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to you?’  “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

   That right there is such an important verse as well, God wants us to treat people the same way we would treat him, isn’t that interesting? If God showed up on your doorstep today, how would you treat him?  I don’t know about you, but it would be like if the Queen of England showed up, I would want a moment to clean my house and make sure he was comfortable.  I would cook and make sure that he had my undivided attention.   So I have a question, is that how you treat everyone you come in contact with?  I know that I definitely can’t say yes, I wish I could, but I know that I would be lying.

  As you go throughout your day, week, and life think about how you treat people and ask yourself: If that person were Jesus, would that be the way I would act?  If you like kindness, I’m sure other people do as well.

 God bless you!    Lots of love from the Author:

Miah B

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