Monday, February 7, 2011

Good Fruit: Kindness - February 7, 2011

Colossians 3:12-13 (New International Version, ©2010)
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 (New International Version, ©2010)
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

What has become of people treating one another with kindness? Daily you hear stories of bullying, abuse, jealousy, anger, treachery, cruelty and down right meanness that goes on around us all. The perpetrators are young and old, of all ethnic group, back ground and upbringing. The only common denominator is that there is a vicious attempt of hurting another, and this extends to other creatures as much as it is with people.

And hanging around fellow Christians doesn't mean that one is immune from being treated in this way. There are many of the same attempts to hurt people in churches and among Christians as there are in the world. What is at the root of this? Why do we behave this way? The answer is that if God is at the root of the good fruit of kindness, Satan is at the root of meanness.

If you are called by Jesus Christ and are ruled by the Holy Spirit, you are to be about demonstrating kindness to all people and all things. Your obligation to God is to treat every part of His creation with the kindness and love He has extended to you. It doesn't stop there; you need to be about being an advocate and defender of that same kindness in all that surrounds you.

That means teaching your children and young people as well as the adults around you how to treat one another. Never allow someone to be unkind to you without rebuking them in love. Let them know that to treat others with cruelty and meanness is never acceptable, and at the same time extend the hand of reconciliation, peace and kindness. Now here is a good fruit of the Holy Spirit that the world needs a lot more of.

Photo from Nursing Home Article from 5-2-2009

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