Monday, May 03, 2010

A measure of kindness

Hello and welcome to the blog. Today marks the start of a new word from my word list. Last month we focused on long-suffering. This month (May), you guessed it by the title, we will focus on kindness. If you would like to get up to speed on the word list you can find other posts here.

Here's something to think about:
Within each of us exists the image of God, however disfigured and corrupted by sin it may presently be. God is able to recover this image through grace as we are conformed to Christ. - Alister McGrath

Ok, now the definition of kindness:
  1. the state or quality of being kind: kindness to animals.
  2. a kind act; favor: his many kindnesses to me.
  3. kind behavior: I will never forget your kindness.
  4. friendly feeling; liking.
Basically, the first three are relatively in the same category; the act of being kind. The last, number 4, deals with the feeling of kindness as in a friendliness. I'll do my best to break these down. I may only get 2 or 3 lessons from this. We'll see.

There was a movie, "Pay It Forward", that many jumped on board with and decided to put it into action for themselves. Why? Because it is showing random acts of kindness where each person that a kind act was done to will pass the same kindness on to someone they think deserves the kindness. The concept is great. Is it a feeling of "I have to do this" and it's done begrudgingly, or is it a feeling of "I want to do this" because it's the right thing to do?

Let's see what God's word says:

2 Corinthians 6:4-10
4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; 6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, 7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Colossians 3:12-13
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

2 Peter 1:5-8
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Each of these scriptures talk about the character of man as the elect of God, ministers of HIS word. We do because it's in Godly character and it honors God, not man. Verse 6 in 2 Cor. 6 above mentions sincere love. When we are sincere it shows Godliness because it's "real", not fake.

I can remember a time in my life where I was "fake" just because it helped me to just get through something I really didn't want to be a part of. I was being impatient and just wanted to be done. Basically, being selfish. Selfishness is not kind. It's the opposite of kind. It's cruel. I eventually got over it. God put me in my place and humbled me.

Where do you stand today? Do you need an attitude adjustment and need to get humbled? I know I have and still do sometimes. Seek the LORD today in sincere love for HIM to teach you kindness. It's not easy if you've been a cruel person. But, looking back at that quote above, "God is able to recover this image through grace as we are conformed to Christ."

Let Jesus Christ transform you... be conformed to HIM. You won't regret it. I do not!

Prayer: Dear Father God, I lift up my readers to You this day. I pray that Your message within this blog post will reach their hearts and comfort them in their time of distress and soften that heart to receive Your love today. I pray that Your kindness will transform each of us. I pray that I will be the embodiment of Your kindness to win hurting hearts and lost souls to You. In Jesus' name, amen.