Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pursuing Love-Love Is Kind

Kindness puts people at ease, tells them you're out to do them good, instead of harm. That allows people to feel safe around us. But if Ephesians 4:32 is right, it's mostly a matter of doing to others, as God has done for us.

Ancient gods are not usually portrayed as being kind. Their stories are more about anger or about being distant or uncaring, or doing weird things just for sport. That is how most of the ancients thought of their god(s). The Hebrew (and thus the Christian) God is characterized by love and kindness. But God is not always kind, due to God's sense of reality and justice. God will not turn kindness into a lie, and will only be kind in the face of deception and brutality for a short while.

Since God is kind, the follower of Christ is to be kind. Being kind is part of being holy, a mark of what makes the Spirit-led person distinct from others. How does this show?

•treating people with respect instead of cussing them out,
•listening instead of blowing them off,
•some gentle words for your girlfriend,
•a helping hand to an elderly woman in a store.
Do acts of kindness for people. Give them little tastes of God's love. People actually like being treated kindly, as if they are valued. They can lay down at least some of their defenses, relax more, and feel comfortable. Most non-Christians have an expectation of being treated a bit more kindly by Christians, and are disappointed, and sometimes even angry, when they're not treated that way. While it's wrong to live according to others' expectations, it is a challenge we need to take to heart. Many practicing Orthodox Jews today, do good deeds (mitzvot) as the opportunities present themselves in their daily lives, mainly because it is what God wants them to do. To them, doing good for others is more than a duty, it's also a prayer and a devotion.

Being vicious can be fun. There's a visceral kick one gets from throwing knives at one's chosen enemies. Radio talk show hosts, including some supposedly "Christian" ones, live on it, and their fans feed off of it. Gossip circles spread the ugly words far and wide. Put-downs become an every-day part of life. But cruelty doesn't make you important, it just makes you cruel.


Andrea said...

AMEN...love is always best.
Hugs and prayers,

Marsha said...

Amen! "Cruelty doesn't make you important, it makes you cruel." So true.

Love you. Thanks for taking part in Pursuing Love.

Sharon Brumfield said...

Amen girl!
I know we all have been touched by those cruel at some time...it hurts.
And if we are not careful to hand those hurts to God we can become hard and bitter.
He keeps things tender when they are placed in His hands.

Barbara said...

Kindness is a struggle at time in daily life...but his word is plain...I am sure we could all use a good dose of kindness mingled in our daily life. THis was a great post a reminder of how we need to walk out our days.

bp said...

Good point, Denise. I'm sharing mine tomorrow.

Cassandra said...

love is amazing I wrote on it too! I am finally back to writing and reading :P Love the post beautiful **hugz**

Alicia said...

So true!! I loved this devotion, Denise!

Hi! I'm Grace said...

I agree on this. We ought to be careful in what we are doing.

Beth in NC said...

Great post Denise. Bless you.

Beautiful pear tree lane said...

WOW! powerful words today Denise!.

RCUBEs said...

We are new creations in Christ. So we must strive to be like Him in everything that we say or do. Great post. God bless.

T. Anne said...

Don't be cruel. Words to live by and sung by a King, right? Great lesson.

Peggy said...

AMEN and sweet blessings Denise! You do follow love & kindness. Thanks for the many insights and examples of how unkind many are and the need to be kind! Don't like it and never will... doesn't matter if they're celebs or who... cruel, vicious, unkind acts are very unnecessary & unwanted!

May God bring more kind people around you and blessing from them now! Love you, standing in prayer.

Cathy said...

A great post, Denise ~ You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs

Love Bears All Things said...

Great post, Denise!
Mama Bear

Julie Arduini.com: The Surrendered Scribe said...

That last line---you nailed it. It's sad how as a society we crave cruelty.

I choose kindness, or at least that is what I'm pursuing!