The Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness

Our world is cursed with cruelty and hatred, and the grain of our hearts towards others is bent towards selfishness. The fruit of the Spirit does not flourish naturally in humans. It is supernaturally planted, and blooms as it is grounded in the Spirit. The word “kind” in Galatians 5:22 translates most accurately to “useful,” and represents the gentle disposition we should have towards meeting the needs of others, that God Himself has shown to us. In light of how half-heartedly kindness is practiced today, it is often forgotten how precious and rare these fruits of the Spirit are, and how carefully they must be cultivated.

Read whole blog at:

https://www.reformation21.org/blog/the-fruit-of-the-spirit-kindness

Let us ever wear the garment of . . .

  • ohn Fawcett, “An Essay on Anger” 1824)

    “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14

    Let us be very assiduous to cultivate . . .
    the Christian virtues of kindness and forgiveness,
    a ready and hearty submission to the Word of God,
    and a cheerful resignation to His all-wise providence.

    Let us be modest, humble, and lowly in our behavior towards men. Let us ever wear the garment of humility, and the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. This will be more to the honor of our divine Savior and more to the credit of our holy religion, than the most exact orthodoxy.

    If we are wholly destitute of a true Christian temperament, the mind that was in Christ Jesus–then we are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. It matters not to what sect of Christians we professedly adhere. If pride, anger, wrath, and malice reign in our hearts and govern our lives–then all our religion is hypocrisy!

Long-Suffering & Kindness

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

In this world, Christians participate in the humiliation of Jesus. How will you handle that? Today, R.C. Sproul considers some of the more difficult fruit of the Holy Spirit to display in trying circumstances.

The Heart of God – Kindness and Goodness

https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2019/10/24/the-heart-of-god-kindness-and-goodness/

Yes, Being Gracious Does Make A Difference

~ SeanMcDowell.org

Last week was interesting. I corrected a scholar for misrepresenting the title of one of my books and was also corrected by another scholar for a flawed illustration. Why did truth and civility prevail in both exchanges? Let me explain.

Correcting Another

A well-known scholar misrepresented the title of a book of mine in his recent publication. Since his critique was public, I wrote a blog response and sent it to him personally with the aim of being as gracious as I could be. Because he is both kind and secure, he emailed me back and admitted the miscalculation. The exchange was mutually respectful, and he even invited me to join him for coffee next time I travel to the east coast.

Being Corrected

Also last week, a philosopher emailed me a thoughtful critique of an illustration I used in a recent public talk. He opened the by finding common ground, commending me for my positive points, and then offered an insightful critique of my illustration in a gracious manner. I emailed back for some clarification, and then as I thought about it, I realized he was right. The good news is that we’re set to have lunch later this week and explore the issue further.

I have been thinking about these experiences over the past couple weeks. Why were they both successful? Why did these exchanges lead to a deeper grasp of truth and the building of relationships? The answer is simple: We treated each other respectfully and showed grace amidst disagreement.

Amazingly, few people today seem to grasp this truth. We are too busy yelling at each other on social media. While it may feel good to “get” someone on Twitter, does it really lead to good? Are minds really changed? I can imagine the Apostle Paul saying, “Absolutely not!”

Unsuccessful Communication

Here is the kind of communication that might feel good, and get a “thumbs up” from your tribe, but ultimately persuades few (if any):

  • Tell someone how they should think
  • Call someone names.
  • Preach at people.
  • Mock someone

Successful Communication

On the other hand, if you really want to influence people on social media, then I suggest a different tack. Rather than telling someone how they should believe, simply ask questions about why they believe as they do. Rather than mock people, treat them charitably as human beings. Rather than preach at people, invite them to consider a different perspective.

If people are not persuaded when you treat them kindly, they likely will not be persuaded at all. And even if they are not persuaded, you still treated them as valuable people made in the image of God. Mission accomplished.

Remember Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

If you just want to incite argument, then keep insulting people, preaching at them, and telling them how they should think. But if you want to genuinely influence people, try being gracious. After all, it is God’s kindness that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4).

Comment at: https://seanmcdowell.org/blog/yes-being-gracious-does-make-a-difference

5 Reasons Why a Handwritten “Thank You” Note Can Make a Difference

By Chuck Lawless

I know I’m dating myself here, but I believe many of us need to return to handwriting some thank you notes. I assume that all of us can name somebody who has blessed us, either for a long time or even just today. Here’s why taking the time to write a “thank you” note matters:

  1. It takes time—which shows some depth of gratitude. Think about it – you have to buy the card, write the note, find an address, address the envelope, and mail it. Sure, the card arrives much later than an email would, but the effort behind the “thank you” note is seldom missed.
  2. Few people do it—so it catches the attention of the receiver. An email “thank you” is easier to send, but it’s also easier to miss on the other end. A handwritten note, however, often catches the recipient by surprise. Its very uniqueness in our Internet-based world makes a difference.
  3. It feels much more personal. I know that’s an emotional response, but it’s often true nonetheless. Somehow, seeing the handwriting and signature of an affirming friend or loved one is different than receiving an email.
  4. It provides good memories. I still remember “thank you” notes that arrived at just the right time with just the right words from just the right person. God used those notes to encourage me then, and my memories of them still encourage me today. That’s one reason I’m writing this post today.
  5. It models a good habit for others. I know many people who’ve received gifts and support from others, but who never took the time to say, “thank you.” It is as if we sometimes think we’re entitled to something, so we see no need to express gratitude. We need to learn, though, from others who seldom miss an opportunity to say “thank you” via a handwritten note.

So, I encourage you this week/weekend to write at least five “thank you” notes to people who have blessed your life. Let them hear from you, in the words of the apostle Paul, “in my [your] own handwriting” (Gal. 6:11).

3 Keys To Kindness

“Have you ever noticed how much of Christ’s life was spent in doing kind things?”

– Henry Drummond

Read more: https://www.christianquotes.info/images/3-keys-kindness/#ixzz52VRUZ1wo

Kindness

kindness

5 Small Things That Can Make a Difference

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.”

– Peter Marshall

A DRINK OF WATER

Think a drink of water is nothing? Not so according to Jesus Christ, Who said, “Whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42). This means God doesn’t forget. If even a cup of cold water helps someone, imagine what rewards await those in the kingdom who even pray for their enemies, do good to those who despitefully use them, and love those who hate them.

Read the rest: https://www.christianquotes.info/images/11060/#axzz4XS2TM6Zf 

Read more: https://www.christianquotes.info/images/11060/#ixzz4XYJF9Vdm

Read more: https://www.christianquotes.info/images/11060/#ixzz4XYJ7Ax3V

A Prayer about Loving as the Dearly Loved

 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph. 4: 30– 5: 2)

As I read this portion I realized anew that it wasn’t just the negative “stuff” that grieves God, but the absence of positive stuff, too.

Note that lack of kind actions, not doing things that show a tender heart toward people, forgiveness, not having a life characterized by loving actions (see Galatians 5 – Fruit of Spirit) also grieves the Holy Spirit.

Too many of us think that kind words when we see people in church constitutes kindness or love. I know that I have been satisfied with my own word — thought I was being kind and loving by a verbal “blessing”. I now realize we fail when we don’t recognize that both require actions, not just words. Words are nice, but cheap and easy but usually don’t take any effort or cost us any time or involvement. Jesus-love is more than words, offers of help, or even a verbal blessing. Words don’t impress the world about us, but actions that involve commitment, involvement and resemble what Jesus was like can — especially when the whole body of Christ is involved.

So, I suspect that my lack of involvement with others might just be grieving the Spirit. I think it best if we all stop, consider our actions — or lack thereof — and maybe repent and re-read and re-consider Paul’s words. I need to do that.

A Prayer about Loving as the Dearly Loved

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph. 4: 30– 5: 2)

Merciful Father, mighty Holy Spirit, most compassionate Lord Jesus, I praise you today for the love with which you love us, in which you have rooted us, and by which you are transforming us. It took the whole Trinity to redeem me, and it takes the whole Trinity for me to live this life of love to which you have called us. There’s no other way I will even begin to be an “imitator of God.” So hear my cry.

Father, I don’t want to live today just with a theoretical or theological awareness of being your dearly loved child. Let it be deeply experiential and existential— very real, very encouraging, and very humbling. Your great love for me is the greatest convicting power this side of the new heaven and new earth.

All day long, let me hear you serenading me in the gospel, that I might grieve the ways I grieve the Holy Spirit— with my thoughts, with my words, and with my actions. Otherwise, I might try to justify the ways I love so poorly.

Lord Jesus, you are so kind, compassionate, and forgiving of me. I want the fragrant aroma of the sacrifice you made for me on the cross to permeate all my relationships. You’re not calling me to change anybody. You’re calling me to live as a broken perfume bottle through which the aroma of grace will bring your disruptive and gentling presence. Let me live more out of brokenness than out of my woundedness and self-righteousness.

God the Holy Spirit, you who raised Jesus from the dead, give me the power I will need today to rid myself of— not to nurse, tolerate, or justify— my bitterness, anger, rage, brawling, slander, and malice and all the other ways I love poorly. Indeed, Triune God, the life of love you live for me, please live through me. I pray in Jesus’ peerless name. Amen.

Scotty Smith, Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith (p. 329)