Practicing Kindness

Good morning! I hope you enjoyed your holiday.

This month we’re talking about kindness. Do you find it hard to be kind to others?

You know, the person who cut you off when driving to work. The waitress who brought you the wrong order. The lady in the checkout with 100 coupons! The friend who uses and abuses your friendship. That child who can’t seem to get it right. The spouse who continually makes bad choices. I could go on and on. Just add your pet peeve to the list.

Now before you think I’m suggesting that we never defend ourselves or our beliefs, let me clarify. I’m talking about common courtesy that we were taught as children. The kindness we learned about while sitting on a pew or at a school desk.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. 1 Corinthians 13:4 KJV

Love is longsuffering. Love doesn’t fly off the handle.

Love is kind, filled with compassion.

Love doesn’t envy another.

Love doesn’t boast. Love is humble.

Love is not proud or self-centered.

Kindness is…

Webster defines kindness as being kind.

Synonyms for kind include compassionate, considerate, courteous, and friendly.

I don’t know about you, but I think the world could use a lot more kindness. And a lot less speaking every thought that pops into our heads. Imagine what the world would be like if, when we did speak, our words were laced with compassion and humility and a little less pride. When we treat others as we like to be treated every moment of the day, kindness becomes a lifestyle and not just a random act.

 

Rambo 2-1 Seneca 2

This is Rambo. He belongs to my niece. He is a barrel racer. I love taking pictures of him.

Seneca’s statement suggests it would be better if we were unable to speak rather than say the things we often say.

It has been stated that we can say the right thing the wrong way and still be wrong. Hmm… Yes, in the span of our lives we will have to say hard things, but the spirit in which the message is delivered will speak louder and remain longer than the words spoken.

I don’t know about you, but I have room for improvement. The good news is our Father, through the Son’s work at Calvary and the gift of His Spirit, has given us power to overcome. We don’t have to remain the same. We can change. Isn’t that marvelous?

May we all become kinder in our relationship with others.

Click to Tweet: When I think over what I have said, I envy dumb people. Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Reflection

Have you ever wished you’d remained silent in certain situations?

Digging Past Our Situations

I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; 2 Timothy 1:3

woman praying_edited-1

Someone is Praying

When writing to Timothy, Paul said, “I have remembrance of thee.” The word remembrance means to remind, bring to, call to, and put in. In the Greek, remember has the same root word as the word tomb or sepulcher. The idea is before we can pray we must dig past the current circumstances.

For example, when overwhelmed we find it hard to think of anything but the present situation. Such was Timothy’s case. But Paul said, “I put you in remembrance” commanding Timothy to dig, get past, removing all that stood in his way.

Likewise, there are times we must dig past the mental anguish, the physical pain, and the spiritual battle to remember where God has brought us from and what He is doing at present. It is one of the hardest things to do when facing trials.

I have several friends and family who are facing stressful situations at this time. I wanted to remind everyone that God hasn’t forsaken us and to share a couple of my favorite verses.

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. Jeremiah 30:17

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, Luke 4:18

In the coming weeks, as you press through this season, I pray you will find comfort in God’s Word and remember people are praying for you.

I would love to hear from you. When going through difficult times, what scripture comes to your mind?

 

Building Walls of Prayer

My propensities to “fix” problems often sets my body in motion to calm my racing mind. But when my hands are no longer busy, and my feet have stopped moving, I often feel helpless. But then, I’m reminded there is still something I can do. I can make a difference through prayer. Prayer gives me a chance to move from helpless to hopeful. From defensive to offensive. From powerless to powerful!

Nehemiah was miles from home when he heard Jerusalem’s walls were broken down and her people were in trouble and disgrace. The walls protected the city. Without walls, the people were defenseless and prey to their invading neighbors. With walls, they were a fortified city–safe and secure. Therefore, the walls had to be rebuilt. But what could he do so far away from home?

And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, And said,

I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

Neh 1:11  O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” For I was the king’s cupbearer. Nehemiah 1:4-11

Prayer changes things.

So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days. Nehemiah 6:15

 

Walls of Salvation 2

Picture courtesy of Pixabay. Design by Levi Johnson

 

If you are familiar with Nehemiah’s story, you know this wasn’t an easy task. They were constantly dealing with their enemies.

They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.  Nehemiah 4:17-18

Like Nehemiah, we need to pray for our cities. We need to pray for the sins of our country. We need to turn our face to God and seek His counsel. And then we need to put feet to our prayers and make a difference in our communities.

Will you continue to join with me and build a wall of prayer around our nation? Together, we can make a difference!