Friday, March 8, 2013

Acts of Kindness

Wow, what a week.  I have been home since Wednesday tending to my wife and daughters with the flu.  I hate seeing them sick, especially the baby.  She does not know how to tell us what hurts.  Instead she just cries.  And hearing your one year old cry can rip your heart out when you know there is not much you can do for them other than to try to make them comfortable.  One good thing though is the people that I work with.  They have been very helpful and supportive in this time.  One of the teachers has been helping me coach for free, and took over my two games this week.  And more importantly, the prayers being offered by them have been the best help.  This matched so well with our bible study at church Sunday night.  So I think I will take time this week to share with all of you a little about acts of kindness.

Galatians 5:22-23
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. "

Kindness is one of the fruits of the spirit.  It is also one of the things that are evident in a true Christian's life.  Is it hard to show kindness to others sometimes?  Of course it is.  It is not in the nature of human beings to be kind to each other.  It is only by the help of the Holy Spirit that we can fully achieve true kindness.  Now, I want to expound on what I believe to be true kindness.  This is the kindness brought about by the Holy Spirit.

First, kindness is an expression of love.  When reading in 1 Corinthians 13 we see the phrase "love is kind", and "it does not seek its own".  When Jesus was performing all of His miracles, He was doing it out of love for those around Him.  All of them were in need, in either one aspect or another.  And He met that need.  And it was truly unconditional.  He never told any of them that He expected them to repay Him for his kindness.  How many times do we do things for others, but seek repayment or special recognition for the kindness.  If we do, was it a true act of kindness?  I say no.  Because the only reason for doing it was because of something we could gain from it.  And in so doing, we lose the blessings that come from it.  A truly, Holy Spirit led act of kindness seeks no recognition or gain from the act.  That being said, who do I be kind to?

Luke 6:31-36
"Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

We should show that love and kindness to all people, including those who hurt or persecute us.  This is one aspects that separate Christianity from other religions.  We are taught to show love and kindness to all people.  As hard as it may be sometimes, we must strive to do this.  Christ displayed this for us on the cross.  he died for all of our sins.  He knew that everyone would not accept Him and follow Him.  But He died for them just the same.  Are we willing to sacrifice of ourselves, even to those who are against us?  In a way, this is a true witness of who we are and who we believe in.  You never know who is watching.  That person may see how you treat those that mistreat you.  If you repay hurt for hurt, that may be the perception they get about Christians, and never want to be a part of that.  And think about the witness to the person that hurts you.  You may be the one that God is sending to that person to show them who He is.  That act of kindness may be the catalyst that leads to them coming to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Lastly, one of the greatest acts of kindness we can show, is to share the gospel with others.  By sharing the gospel, we can in effect share the love that God has for all of us.  If that leads to that person's salvation, then that act of kindness changed their eternal destination.

Hope you enjoyed reading this.  And I hope you received a blessing from it. Thanks for reading, and God bless you all this week!a

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