Tag Archives: Kindness

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February is most of all highlighted by Valentine’s Day, and designated to express and receive love! How delightful. Let me share this writing with you by Stephen Crotts…

Love ~

To be young, wealthy and in love–all in the third century. And to be a Christian. 

Such was young Valentine. He would consummate his great love by taking her as his bride. Soon he would be wed. But his world came crashing down around him when the Roman emperor declared all Christians illegal citizens and guilty of treason. All they had to do was to say, “Caesar is Lord!” Rather than deny Christ, young Valentine was arrested. 

In jail, awaiting his execution, he wrote love letters to his girlfriend…beautiful, passionate letters assuring her of his great love for her. But theirs would be a love not lived out. On February 14, 269, Valentine was put to death, martyred for Jesus Christ. 

Since then, Christians have celebrated his fidelity to Christ and romantic love on the 14th of February by sending our own love letters to special people. And we do so this year, let us resolve to live for Christ unashamedly.  ~ Stephen Crotts 

So my friend, how will you spend your Valentine’s day? Maybe a romantic dinner with card and flowers from or to your beloved? It seems odd that we need a day in the year to remind us to show and exhibit love. Click To Tweet A day that indicates we should express our faithfulness and love to our beloved!  Yet, how about most of all to our Christ. His words to us penned by the apostle Paul in Corinthians need to be seared upon our hearts:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

“Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” ~1 Corinthians 13 

No small wonder it is called the Love Chapter. The above words are the key to any and every relational issue known to man. For if we do as it says we should, we become humbly involved in laying aside our agenda and we pick up the care the concern for others and administer love, unselfish love. 

I know my tendencies and I know how hard it is to look beyond me and see others in the light of God’s love, forgive me Lord. As Your creation, it should be a natural to do likewise–as You do unto us–to those around us. Why do I always get in the way? 

Father, when I am struggling with my spouse, my friends and even the poky driver ahead of me who thinks I should live my life at his speed, help me to think LOVE. Forgive all the “buts…” that I throw out as excuses to justify my unloving attitude. Lord, if I could always have on my mind the love You showed Your unworthy child, I just might remember. And how do I really show Your love to that unlovable person(s) we all seem to have in our lives? Whatever it takes Lord, I need Your grace and mercy so that I would remain that humble servant who desires to walk in love and then purposes to do it! I am so weary of asking and then I watch myself turn around and reneging on my intention. Give me authenticity that will reveal who You are through me. I love you Abba and my desire is to live for You. In Jesus Name, Amen!

In a Perfect World…

Why are relationships so difficult? Why do I do things that irritate people? Why are there people who totally annoy me? Sometimes I just want to go where I won’t ever have to deal with people and all of their stuff!!! Well…wait a minute…I wonder how many people say those things and think of me? Plain and simple, relationships are hard stuff.

Imagesbyozzie As I was pondering what lessons God has wanted me to learn in this season, and immediately remembered that He is teaching me what “love one another” is all about.  You see…when we refuse to abide by this mandate, then we give the enemy a foothold. This will develop into a stronghold and it gets harder and harder to deal with the situation and do the right thing. Laying aside ourselves to take up the concerns of others!

Just look what this passage in Colossians says from the Message paraphrase: “When you love someone you just want to spend time with them and that’s good because that is how relationship is cultivated.”

That just might be the easy part unless you have kids and schedules or work full-time.  Making the effort with those commitments can get a bit sticky! However if we need to hang in there even when things get weird. Oh my do I know that that’s like and when it happens, I just want to escape and try not to deal with it. But that’s not the way to do it. That’s when I need to expend some effort to mend the hole created by an unkind word or a misunderstanding. I sure don’t want to take up an offense!

Colossians 3:12-14  So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Put on love, in other words it should be the first item on when you awaken and the last off before bedtime. And if you have a spouse then I guess you need it 24/7!

It is a big, and sometimes consuming job–all this relationship stuff! But you see, I have been given the mind of Christ. That means that I must gradually begin to adapt to Christ’s nature in me, as I journey through the tough stuff. Even though I have bad days, don’t I get a break here? Probably not if I am going to attain my goal. (Man, some days it can be a tough row to hoe!) And if you struggle with unconditional love like I do it can be even more difficult. But I am learning and it helps to take a look backward to see all that God has forgiven in me. This new garment of love takes a concerted effort to put and keep on, daily.

What can you do when relationships get sticky?

How difficult is it to wrangle your pride and admit that you may have had a role in an uncomfortable situation?

Father, it feels like I have so far to go on this journey, but I will continue to allow You to work out those uncomfortable traits in me even if it hurts and is uncomfortable. I will trust You as You continue to work all things together for my good and Your glory, in Jesus; name!

It’s All About Me…Really?

Words of affirmationClose your eyes, stop and think…random now…where does your mind drift off to? Honestly, I sure think most about me, my world, my home, family, problems and agendas and more ME! It kind of bugs ME to have a Me mindset. After all I share my home with others and thoughts of them tend to bring ME back around to ME. I rather think that this is a natural inclination, to be ME focused. However, as a woman of God, I am learning that this journey here on earth is NOT about ME!

I may have mentioned before that when I read Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love”, it totally rocked my world…forcing me to see outside of me, myself and I. That was a good thing! But I still struggle with myself and my little world rising to the surface. There are so many needs in this world that I become very overwhelmed when thinking about my part in helping others. And what I have found is to practice looking beyond self really starts right in my own home!

As a wife, I need to build into my husband the very elements that I myself desire. What wife doesn’t want a husband who is kind to them? So it is my responsibility to respond to him with kindness. But even when he can be unkind to me? Absolutely! Ask yourself when the last time you were genuinely kind to your spouse and remember how he reacted. Especially those times when you made the choice to respond to him with kindness and inside you were wanting to do likewise!

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. Proverbs 15:1,2

I love the verses above! What is on the tip of the tongue can sway a response every time! And making the choice to respond in kindness will always have an impact. You may not always see the response immediately but believe me it will percolate inside the recipients heart and soften instead of hardening that person’s response.

Do you find yourself sometimes wishing your spouse were gentler and kinder with his words? I have and do with my guy! He loves to be right and he loves to get me to react (and believe me, most times I do!) But I have tested this response thing and nine times out of ten, what I have found is that my gentle, kind response, diffuses his ire!

So here’s the challenge…purpose to respond differently than you would normally, put on that kindness and give it a try…see what happens and let me know how it has worked for you!

Did You Make a New Year’s Resolution?

New Year 2014It is so funny how we look for a starting place to invoke change. I do not believe that most of us just wake up on a day and say I am going to quit this or that. Or, I am going to quit my job and start a business of my own (you fill in the scenario.)  Now if I am wrong let me hear from you! For most of us, change or the desire for change comes to somehow better our circumstances. We ponder what it is we desire to change for a time, and sometimes it is just a bad habit or a plaguing issue that we desire to be rid of, non-the-less it is still change. 

The New Year is always a great way to jump-start your planned changes. It might be to start a diet and exercise program. These are common resolutions. But, if you are like most people after a few weeks or say a month with no real visible change occurring, you just get frustrated and, well, quit. I think I have done this myself a gazillion times! Shoot off the starting line and fizzle out after a few weeks because of discouragement and then give it up. What is up with that? 

Snowflake Divider

Well this is my approach to the resolution thing. I have decided I will resolve to do something right every day. And yes, I do have some goals.

  • Being in the Word daily
  • Cultivating a thankful heart
  • Watching my consumption a bit closer
  • Taking my supplements
  • Exercising
  • Being Kind

This is quite simple! And if I get nothing else done but my daily Bible reading, then I have done one right thing in my day. I get to count walking the dog as my exercise and we can go a mile or more either walking out side and or on the treadmill. Suffice it to say that this would make for two right things in my day. Should I remember to take my supplements before I go to work then I can add another right thing to my day. Although I really don’t like to take supplements, I know that they are good for me and do help me to feel better. 

As for the diet thing, I wrestle with sweets/carb consumption. I know how detrimental sweets or too many carbs are for me and this can pose as one of my most difficult challenges. I have found that some days I can forgo the sweets and then there are other days I cannot get enough of them! So on the days when I can ignore sweets then I can add another right thing to my day. 

This verse in 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 is such a convicting verse for me when it comes to dieting.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”

Now reading those verses can really give you some perspective on taking care of yourself, right?

Snowflake Divider

1Thes5.16-18Do you ever look at rude people and think how selfish and unaware they are of others around them? I am certain that we can all be that way at times but I do not want that to be how people see me. Therefore I have included on my list to work at being kind. There are so many folks that just need a kind word spoken into them. And who is to say that the word of encouragement would be used to change the course of that person’s day by just being kind to them? I can sometimes snap at my spouse and then wonder why he won’t communicate with me, why would he? So now I try to remember to ask the Holy Spirit to show me how to speak kindness to my husband. 

I love this verse in Proverbs 25:11 (NKJ)

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

Snowflake Divider

Then there is often the opportunity to engage in (or initiate) talk that is not positive about another person. Because I am making the choice to do “right things” I can now consciously make the decision not to go there. There is indeed much to be said for being kind. And by doing so I can then add another “right thing” to my day. 

So as I begin my day I am asking the Lord for the courage to do “right things” everyday and as many as I can. You know, even if it was only one or two “right things”, I am progressing and feeling better about a heightened level of awareness as I go about my days, weeks and months to come! I hope this might help you with your resolutions if you too easily fizzle out after a few weeks into the new year! 

Father, I confess the trap of not finishing what I start out to do. I have made hundreds of resolutions and gone bad on them time and time again. I am thanking You for shedding a new light on this for my new year! Holy Spirit, will You heighten my awareness and conviction so that I will desire to continue to do as many “right things” as I can. Let this alter not only my perspective but also the lives of those that I come in contact with for Christ’s sake!