Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Resolution: Kindness

I've determined to be kind this year. It’s as good a resolution as any for a new year Now I'm not always perfect at it and there are times when I have to speak hard truth in love, but I'm choosing to be kind as a way of living.

What you sow you reap (and we could all use a little kindness), and kindness has a way of healing hurts and bringing peace to a household. It is worth the consideration and effort that it takes to make that lifestyle change.

Here I am going to study what the Word has to say about kindness and ask the Lord to teach me day by day how to live a life of kindness.

... put on a heart of ... kindness ... Colossians 3:12 NAS

The Bible uses the word kind 59 times. But what does it mean to be kind? I thought I'd start with the definition so here is it:

In English, kindness has come to mean being warm-hearted and considerate. The origin of the word is from the very same Saxon word kind which means family, or child, as in kin, or kindred. In German, kind means child - as in the German word kindergarten, which literally means a children's garden.

Kindness literally means being gentle and caring, as with a child, or with family. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word most-often translated as kindness is (pronounced) kheh-sed; it means merciful or gracious. In the New Testament, the Greek word (pronounced) kray-sto-tace, which means gentleness, is usually translated as kindness.

Origin Word Pronunciation Meaning
English kindness warm-hearted and considerate
Hebrew Hesed kheh-sed merciful or gracious
Greek kyrie kray-sto-tace gentleness
Elos mercy

But what does it look like?
I'm going to look at Abraham, Ruth, Samuel, David, Job, Jeremiah.... to discover what it looks like to be kind

1. How do I exhibit kindness in my daily life?
2. What can I do to develop more of a kindness attitude?
3. What blocks the practice of kindness in my life? How can I make kindness function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainty and stress?
4. How can I make kindness function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainty and stress?

Kindness (Rom. 2:1-4; 12:9-21; Ephesians 4:32; Col. 3:12-14; 1 John 3:16-23) is the medium through which Christ’s love becomes tangible through us. It is practicing benevolence and a loving attitude towards others. Kindness is the essence that shows the world that we are a Christian, like the fragrance coming from a flower. It is being convicted with God’s Word, and then modeling it to others. Kindness is the subject to the object of who we are in Christ!

Cruelty, spitefulness, being mean, and holding grudges are the opposites. This can include seeking to harm someone, being cruel and rude, or just ignoring people you do not like. God created us for relationships, and when we ignore this, we fail in the most important aspect in life besides our relationship in Him!

· Here are positive examples from Scripture (Gen. 39:21-23; Josh. 2:4-16; Ruth 2:8-16; 3:15; Luke 7:2-6; Acts 24:23; 27:3, 43)
· Here are negative examples from Scripture (Gen. 21:9-14; 37:12-36; Ex. 5:6-18; Luke 22:64; John 19:3)

My Prayer
"Remember, O Lord, Thy tender mercies and Thy loving kindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to Thy mercy remember Thou me for Thy goodness' sake, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will He teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way." (Psalm 25:6-9 KJV)
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