Kindness and love
by Liz Howland • August 6, 2016 • Faith, inspiration, Rural Ministry • 0 Comments
As I write this, I’m overjoyed to celebrate with those who have received substantial generous rain across vast areas of Queensland.
We know it is an answer to persistent fervent prayer. Thank you to all who joined with us ‘til we saw the answers come! As we continue to pray for those yet to receive, may we allow gratitude and thanks giving rise up effusively in our hearts and may remember to give all the glory to God.
This letter is always written from the perspective of offering a Biblical truth – truths that I am unashamedly passionate about because I know and have experienced the power of faith in His Word, (at times with my back to the wall), in situations of my own life.
(PS to last letter, He indeed did make a way for me in an impossible situation).
This month I feel to write on the topic of ‘kindness’. As we look at the violence and hatred in our society today, one of the qualities most sorely needed is kindness. Kindness was beautifully illustrated by a little boy at a football game recently. He was seen to comfort a grown man, a supporter of the opposing team, who was inconsolable after his team lost. We may not be able to change the whole world but we CAN do something tangible to make a difference in the corner where we are.
Kindness is a by-product of love. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says, ‘love suffers long and is kind’. It is birthed in love because the Bible says, ‘God IS love’. It is a fruit of His character. Maybe you can recall an instance you’ll never forget when someone offered you a kind word, encouraged you at just the right moment – a critical moment when you were just about to give up. Maybe you had a teacher, a sports master or a parent who saw talent in you not evident to others and encouraged you in it. Sometimes recalling kindness extended to you can spur you on to ‘pay it forward’.
Genuine kindness begins in the heart, it has no agenda other than to inspire, uplift and bring hope. It can not be manufactured, but comes as a result of seeing others as God sees them, through His eyes of love. ‘Thinking benevolently of a friend or neighbor or even a stranger, having a genuine desire lift the load from another, is closely linked with goodness, which causes us to follow kindness with action. Being outward looking even when facing pressing circumstances ourselves and filling the need of another is a powerful act in God’s sight.
Proverbs 31:26, speaking of a wise woman says ‘She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness.’ What a powerful gift for a woman to be blessed with! How many people could she reach in her day for the better, with the law of kindness on her lips!
Conversely, the Bible says in Proverbs 21:9 ‘It is better to dwell on a corner of the housetop (on the flat roof exposed to all kinds of weather) than in a house shared with a quarrelsome contentious woman. What a privilege to have the power to choose whether we speak wise kind words or abusive destructive words – words that bring life and hope to the hearer or words that destroy, sometimes seemingly irreparably. We have all been guilty of speaking unkind words! The good news is that by a simple genuine heartfelt acknowledgment asking for forgiveness from our heavenly Father, we can be forgiven and have a brand new start.
Men! Kindness isn’t a trait peculiar to women! There is nothing more valuable than kindness in a man! In a world filled with aggression humanity is longing for kindness. Never underestimate the value of a kind wise word. It can give hope to carry on and even pull someone back from the brink. As the head of your home in God’s sight, you are encouraged to lead with love. Proverbs 25:!! says, ‘Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word fitly spoken at the right time’. A wise kind word from a spouse, parent, friend or neighbor or even a stranger can be of priceless value to the hearer. We don’t need to know what it meant to them, only that we were prompted to make that call, speak those words of life and encouragement and leave the rest to God.
I remember an instance in a busy Shopping Centre, I was on an urgent mission and didn’t want any interruptions when I passed a lady in very apparent deep distress. I shrugged off the prompting and went my own way only to pass her AGAIN going the opposite direction looking even more distressed. After an internal struggle, I reluctantly turned to follow her and give any assistance I could. (By this time she was nearly out of sight)! FINALLY catching up with her at the far end of the Centre, I tapped her on the shoulder having no clue what I was to say and out of my mouth came, ‘Excuse me darling, I’ve passed you twice today and can see you’re deeply worried about something. Is there is anything I can do to help?’. She poured out her story – ‘My husband is at the Dr, (at the other end of Shopping Centre), he’s in great pain, just been diagnosed with bowel cancer, we’re from Papua NG, I don’t know how to get the car up close to him to collect him etc. As I was able to help her with this problem her day was transformed. I happened to run into her the next day doing my final jobs before heading out west and she told me what that kindness meant to her. You may not see your kindness as much but it can have immeasurable impact on someone else’s day.
Maybe we could ponder on situations recently where we could have shown more kindness. What could have been the outcome if we’d shown more kindness? What effect did it have on those closest to us. Maybe we need to ask for forgiveness from someone we’ve hurt.
My prayer is that as you read this simple message written from my heart to yours, you will get a hunger and a curiosity to learn more of God’s principles found in the Holy Bible. The Bible is not just words on a page, but life giving, life changing wisdom for living. It changes our character from the inside out, adjusts that which needs to be adjusted for our own well-being and the well-being others. It holds keys and solutions for every situation faced by man.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He make His face to shine upon you may He be gracious unto you and give you peace.