Friday, June 19, 2015

Picking Fruit - Kindness

Happy Sunday!  It certainly seems as if this series on the Fruits of the Spirit has been impactful.  I know it has been on me.  I continue to find opportunities to not only THINK about these fruits, but also to practice them (or at least try).  I know that there are many more opportunities when I have missed the chance, and I ask God to reveal those times to me.
We are down to the last two, and this week, we are looking at Kindness.  If you remember a few weeks back, I shared that I would try to explain the difference between Goodness and Kindness, which almost seem like the same thing.  Goodness was discussed as DOING good, finding an actual act in which to do something - maybe out of the ordinary - that was good and right. 

This week, as we focus on Kindness, let us reflect on us, the people we are, the attitude of our hearts.  Kindness, in my viewpoint, is the attitude or the characteristic of our hearts.  Are we genuinely kind to people, do we welcome them with our smiles, with our words, with our voices?  Is the first reaction when we see people is to respond in a kind way (extend a hand - or in my case a hug - of welcome)?

Kindness comes in many shapes and sizes, vocal and silent, etc.  These days, we hear a lot about Random Acts of Kindness (doing good!).  The start of the "act" or doing good comes from a kind heart.  Kindness is the genuine characteristic of one's heart.  I am sure we have met many people in our lifetime (and maybe we have BEEN those people), who seem to be cold-hearted.  They aren't happy, they tend to see the glass half empty, they are negative to those around them.  I'm sure you are getting the picture.  Kindness is the opposite of that - it's a person who puts on a smile, sees the positive in situations, welcomes ALL that they meet.  A kind heart will lead someone to an act of "doing good".

Okay, so now that we have defined it, what does that mean for us?  Yes, it's time to self-reflect.  Are we kind?  You might say a resounding YES (I did, at first)!  Yet, are we.  We tend to be kind to those around us - sometimes we are kinder to strangers and people outside of our home than we are to those that live with us.  Are you kind to your spouse?  I have to say, sometimes I fall short here.  I don't mean to, but we can take advantage of those closest to us and I certainly have been guilty of that at times.  I am sorry, Juan!!  Are you kind to your siblings?  This was much more difficult when I was younger (you don't know my brother - only kidding)!  Yet as we grew older, I know we appreciate each other more and there is a level of kindness.  Are you kind to your pets?  Do you take advantage of the fact that they will always be there or do you spend some time with them - showing affection?  Are you kind to those closest to you - friends, church members, co-workers, etc?  Yes, it is time to do a bit of self-reflection.  Typically, when we are in a state of "comfort" with others, we can let down our "kindness" heart.  I know I have been guilty of this and will certainly look to enhance this in the VERY near future - like TODAY!

There are many places that the word Kindness can take us.  Yes, I could right on forever about this topic, just like many of the others.  Yet, let us look forward.  Kindness is truly a gift of the Holy Spirit - as are the other fruits.  Kindness can take deep hold in our hearts - if we LET it.  There may be times and circumstances when we don't feel very kind - maybe don't even want to be kind.  Think of our beloved Jesus.  The many times He was mocked, chastised, ridiculed, etc., yet, He was kind to ALL - yes ALL!!  Even in His manner of correction, He was kind.

Let us learn from our Heavenly Father.  Let us be reminded that in all circumstances, may we come to them with a kind heart, a kind attitude, a kind character.  May we be what the Holy Spirit has led us to be - people of God.  I pray the week ahead brings you to moments of kindness - ones where you may NOT have been kind before.  May we look for these opportunities, embrace them, and show others the love that Jesus has shown us.  Blessings to all of you in the week ahead!

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Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope we can share how God's grace has been life changing and that SIMPLE FAITH, getting back to a life that is rooted in the basics, can truly set us free to achieve so much in our lives.