Friday, October 20, 2017

Kindness Toward Others

Chuckle: "Everybody's got it all wrong. Angels don't wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it." --Olive, age 9
Ponder this: “I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow-creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” --John Wesley

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT ).
Paul's letter to the Ephesians describes the type behavior that ought to characterize the lives of Christians as we relate to one another. Our actions should be based on kindness and concern for others. Kindness has been defined as love expressed in practical ways. Love will make us more concerned with the needs of others than for our own. It should be our purpose to consider ways to meet other people's needs.
Being tenderhearted means that we are sensitive to how others feel. "If one part (brother or sister) suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it" (I Corinthians 12:26 NIV). We grieve along with our brothers and sisters when they grieve. We also experience great joy when others are rejoicing. Being tenderhearted is showing empathy and compassion toward those around us.
We show forgiveness because we fall short of God's ideal and often need forgiveness ourselves. When we consider that God has so graciously saved us from sin and destruction, we are motivated to forgive others when they offend us. Often we are less patient with our fellow Christians than with nonbelievers. Our expectations are higher for Christians, and, sometimes, we feel betrayed when they fail us. However, when we are tempted to be unforgiving, we need to look closely at the cross and remember the forgiveness we received there. God would have us set aside our self-centered attitudes that causes us to be impatient and critical of others.
Jesus said the world will know we belong to him by the love that we show to one another (John 13:35). Are you often in conflict with others? If so, ask God to give you an extra measure of kindness, a tender heart, and a forgiving spirit. When you permit the Spirit to cultivate these qualities in you, your life will be a tremendous blessing to those around you. One of the most difficult things to give away is kindness, for it is usually returned! Have a great day as you show kindness to those around you!
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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