Another easy one. Everyone knows what kindness is, right? Sort of a Mary Poppins meets Mother Theresa thing. But for the sake of this blog, I had to do the definition thing, so I went to the good folks at Oxford Living Dictionary who gave me this jewel: “The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”. Cool. Friendly, generous, and considerate. That’s me in a nutshell. (Those of you who truly know me can stop laughing now). So kindness is simply me getting up in the morning, saying my prayers, and going out to be generous and considerate. Easiest blog ever.
Then Saturday happened. Everything went wrong. Everyone was part of a conspiracy to tick me off. And my initial reactions were not generous and considerate. I wondered if that was part of the challenge. Too often, when we teach on these topics, we teach as if our hearers don’t have real-life challenges. We teach virtues in a vacuum, without acknowledging that the parts of fruit in question have to be walked out while navigating the battlefield of life. Our hearers fail, not because of a lack of faith, prayer, or strength of spirit, but because we never equipped them to display these fruit during the battle.
So to address that, I decided to add definitions from the Word of God on kindness. I picked up a robust concordance and began my search for kindness. There are 48 references to kindness, for the record, and you are free to peruse them at your leisure, as I used none of them. As I was reviewing them, I heard the Lord say “Why not just show My generosity and consideration?”
Ok, fine. So where do I start? Well, we can look at God’s chosen people, Israel. Now the true show of generosity and consideration in the midst of a circumstance that would prevent it happens after God frees the Israelites from the Egyptians. They had barely escaped the shadow of Egypt when they began to complain about their circumstances. Instead of responding with anger, God shows His consideration by removing the threat they feared, and His generosity by providing food and water. This was not a one time deal, as they continued to test God’s kindness, and he continued to show generosity and consideration to them as he had sworn to do.
So, this is a blog about marriage, right? How does that fit in? Well, when you got married, you swore an oath, before God and faithful witnesses, to show kindness, among other things. The kindness we show must reflect the kindness of God. If He can show kindness to the children of Israel after being given countless reasons not to, what prevents me from showing my spouse the same kindness? After all, I am created in His image and likeness, and as His child, I can do what he does. So no matter the circumstance, God has demonstrated a template for kindness to be shown. Don’t believe me, read further on, and look for His generosity and consideration toward us. And as you find it, be certain to mirror that kindness to your spouse, your family, and all those around you.
Heading to deeper waters,
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.