Hi, friends! Today we are considering the fruit of the spirit: Kindness. Kindness feels important all the time, but in particular today, as today is election day. While elections are always a testy time of the year for people as political climates heat up and agenda become like weapons against neighbors - this election feels more heated than usual over our school board nominees. (See this article from August: https://www.cleveland.com/community/2021/08/chagrin-falls-school-board-seeks-direction-on-diversity-initiative.html) I know a number of you have attended these meetings or have expressed your concern on community pages. Many of our neighbors are feeling worn out from the fights and election cycle campaigning. Whatever the results are we should take on Paul's advice to Christians and share our kindness.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
Recall a story of kindness from a stranger and journal on that or share it in the comments. What is a stand out example of what kindness looks like or how were you moved by someones kindness?
Do you ever feel like you put on "armor" against being "too kind?" Take a moment and consider where that defensiveness is rooted and why or why not you find it helpful.
Suggested activity: Do a random act of kindness today. Consider buying the meal for the person behind you in the drive thru, donate some clothes to a veterans facility, or drop off some goodies and positive notes for our teachers.
- Just some thoughts -
Colossians 3:12 says,
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Notice the word clothe. The Greek word literally means “put on.” What Paul is saying here is that when we wake up in the morning, we ought to get dressed spiritually and emotionally as well as physically. When we wake up in the morning and decide what to wear, we should also ask ourselves, “What kind of attitude am I going to wear today?”
Paul says kindness is a choice. It is something we can choose to “put on” every day.
Kindness is “love in action” — a practical expression of love. It is visible and active, not just emotional. There is a song that says, “Find the need and fill it. Find the hurt and heal it.” That is kindness.
But why should we be kind? After all, kindness can be risky. We might be misunderstood if we are kind to others. They might think, “Why is this person being so nice? What’s in it for him?” People we are kind to also might take advantage of us. They might become parasites with the attitude, “Oh, here’s a sucker. I’ll milk him for all he’s worth.”
Despite the risks, we are to be kind for two reasons. First, we are to be kind because God is kind to us. Ephesians 2:8 says,
Because of His kindness you have been saved through trusting Christ.
Grace and kindness always go together. Poet Robert Burns said that the kind heart most resembles God. We should be kind just because God is kind to us.
The other reason we should be kind is that we want people to be kind to us. We want to be treated right. Jesus said,
Do to others what you would have them do to you. — Matthew 7:12
If you are rude to other people, they are going to be rude to you. But if you are kind, most people will want to respond the same way. Proverbs 21:21 says,
Be kind and honest and you will live a long life; others will respect you and treat you fairly.
In Proverbs 11:17 we read,
Your own soul is nourished when you are kind; it is destroyed when you are cruel.
So when we are kind, we are really doing ourselves a favor.
So often we excuse ourselves when we are unkind. “That person deserved it.” “She just annoyed me.” “If I’m kind, he will see me giving an inch and he will take a mile.” Today, let’s ask the Lord to point out to us when we’re unkind and how we can respond with the kindness of Jesus instead, and pay attention to what He reveals.
Praying the Hymns
You might think you've seen cute videos before with puppies and kitties and all of that. They probably were pretty cute. But this. this. THIS is cute. Like the faith of a precious child might we be inspired to be like Jesus and have kind hands today.
Jesus' hands were kind hands, doing good to all, healing pain and sickness, blessing children small, washing tired feet and saving those who fall; Jesus' hands were kind hands, doing good to all. Take my hands, Lord Jesus, let them work for you; make them strong and gentle, kind in all I do; let me watch you, Jesus, till I'm gentle too, till my hands are kind hands, quick to work for you.
History behind the hymn for those that are curious!
Interested in more musical history? Rewatch Sunday's fantastic Hymn Celebration Sunday Message on Unity Through Song.
See you tomorrow!