Hello Friends, I hope you are all well 🙂 June has seen many events and perhaps it is a time for the body of christ to be more vigilant than ever and war against the enemy’s taunting with the shield of faith and cast down strongholds by fervent prayer.
Walk fearlessly in his power and know that Love is the greatest weapon.
Today i want to continue on the “Long-suffering” blog post. Specifically, I want to look at how long-suffering can develop compassion in us.
What is long-suffering teaching cultivating in me?
LONG-SUFFERING IS PRODUCING COMPASSION IN YOU: Every situation carries the potential to develop in you compassion for others. Compassion breeds miracles. Every miracle Jesus did was birthed from the bowels of compassion ( Matt. 14:4, Matt 9:36, Mark 6:34). By God’s grace, sometimes I am able to help folks who come see me about several issues from academics, to relationships, to…
Hello again friends, I hope you got an opportunity to soak in Wednesday’s post about ” Kindness from a Mercy Perspective” because I shared a story which set the foundation for understanding what it means to agree to be kind. Tonight, I want to just build on that by highlighting the freedom you actually have to live powerfully by CHOOSING to be Kind and sticking with the responsibilities that comes with that decision:
In the moment when someone is showing you kindness, it is easy to verbally agree to repay that kindness at a later date. But imagine when later on, the circumstances are perfect for you to evade repayment of kindness; or even worse, like in David’s case, when you are dealing with the relative of the person who did you evil, took advantage of you and so on. It seems tough to still show kindness right? BUT that’s why God has given us the helper– the holy spirit– who teaches us all truth ( John 16:13), gives us the heart of Christ and literally enables us to live powerfully by choosing ( Joshua 24:15) to be kind even when we have all liberty and reason to be unkind. When the circumstances are ideal for you to act otherwise, would you still be able to maintain your promise of kindness? Or would you be able to choose to show kindness? Do we think David was not human and somehow did not feel the sting of helping the son of his “enemy”? I am sure he felt a little sting; perhaps some bad memories were evoked throughout the whole process. And perhaps, some ill “memories” are being evoked as you are trying to be kind in a situation you feel you should be extremely unkind in right now. But remember that you are not entirely your emotions. In fact, you are more than just how you feel. You are what you think, how you respond and the powerful choices you make that allow you to govern the soulish outcries of your flesh. Just as these people we read about in the bible overcame, so shall you. It’s in you.
Let us teach Kindness until it is the normal way of life and until it shatters the bitter rocks of coldness that the world teaches us to hold on to, in an effort to prove our so-called “rights”, power and vengeful rebuttals. The secret to Powerful Living is that man with free-will can exercise his power of choice to live in a fashion that nurtures the fruit of the spirit; even when he wields all power to have chosen otherwise; That’s Powerful living right there! Free of the control of emotions and circumstantial short-lived feelings! I think you can live so powerfully because you have 1. Free- will and 2. Choice at the same time and you can use this liberty as an occasion to live
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” ( Gal. 5:13)
Lets face it: Sometimes it can be “hard” to live above sickening circumstances right?But David is an example of one who can live powerfully and so are you! David decided that he could treat situations individually with a Christ-like mindset! I have noticed that sometimes if a person has an issue with another person, then the friends of that person he/she has the issue with automatically become enemies too. But this should not be so among believers! Never sum up everyone as one and extrapolate the experience you have with one person to a group. I have heard people ridicule loving and kind people as “weak people”. That is interesting to me because actually, kindness is a trait of the strong-willed and not the weak-willed. “Weak people” cannot show the christ-kind of kindness. Do you know what it takes to love the unlovable and be kind in the most adverse of situations? The answer is John 3:16.
David decided that even in Jonathan’s death, he would still show his house kindness so he blessed Jonathan’s son. He chose his response and the attitude he would rather display towards the entire situation. In fact, David had such kindness (mercy) in his heart that when Saul (his enemy) and Jonathan (his enemy’s son) died, he wept and eulogized them saying “Saul and Jonathan, lovely and pleasant!” (2 Sam 2:23). He called an enemy and his son “lovely” and “pleasant”! This is not about lip-service but radical love, heartfelt words with genuine intentions, substance and meaning which can only come by the precious work of holy spirit in a man’s heart. It is about calling forth the Christ kind of good that can come out of others. Some of us clearly know some friends, family etc are filled with unChrist-like intentions towards us, but can we still pull out and honor the Christ-potential in them,call out the “lovely” and “pleasant” seed in them and cultivate it with affirmation of agape?
To sum, let me say this: In my interactions with people this season, I am reminded that folks are constantly dealing with a battle in one way or the other and perhaps, the most undeserving are actually the very ones who need a little kindness to come through. I know bad attitudes are unpleasant and i know harsh words and feelings can rouse so much pain etc. But even more powerfully, I know i have needed kindness from others in time past and I still do. Perhaps you do too right? Remember, the secret to Powerful Living isyou– wielding so much free-will— can exercise your power of choice to live in a fashion that nurtures the fruit of the spirit; even when you simultaneously wield the power to have chosen otherwise; That’s Powerful living right there! And I think you can start living it even now by the help of the Lord. Live in this thy power and might! Amen
Questions, Thoughts, concerns? As always, they are gladly welcome. Send them over via comment section and God-willing next week, I will wrap up with the final ” Kindness from a Gentleness perspective”.
Hello my friends 🙂 I hope you are well. I have been spending the past few weeks celebrating remarkable milestones in the lives of some of my good friends & family and I am glad to be back and continue the blog posts on “Kindness” 🙂 . As always, I am glad that you take time to read the blog, share with others and give feedback. God bless you & continue to communicate questions, concerns, clarifications etc and lets keep this engaging discourse going. Amen
2. KINDNESS FROM A MERCY PERSPECTIVE
A few weeks ago, I blogged on “kindness from a philanthropy perspective” explaining that philanthropic acts are good; in fact scripture encourages them: giving to the poor, defending the helpless, donating to a legitimate cause etc and I’m sure all of us have engaged in such acts on some level. That’s wonderful and your reward is sure. Now let’s bring this “kindness talk” to our everyday relationships with our immediate circles: an undeserving friend, a mean co-worker, an annoying relative, a hard teacher, a controversial leader, a friend/relative of an enemy, a person who “rightfully deserves” harsh treatment from you for one reason or another etc. If we would all be honest with ourselves, we would acknowledge that we are often presented with such situations. Just pause and think about current situations you are facing in which it’s just hard for you to extend kindness. Or let me give you a classic story from 2 Sam 9:1-3
This is the story of David, Saul and his son Jonathan. Saul hated David and wanted him dead (1 Sam. 24:3, 2 Sam. 26:2). Why? Because David was eventually going to be King over Israel but Saul just couldn’t stand to see David rise to fulfill his destiny as the anointed and chosen one. So Saul gathered 3,000 men to go ambush David and he failed. In fact, scripture says God caused a deep sleep to fall on them so that they were unable to carry out their evil assignment (1 Sam. 26:12). Upon finding them all asleep, David could have easily revenged by killing them. But he said he would not shed the blood of God’s anointed because the Lord himself will take Saul out in a time to come. See, when there is no evil or treason in your heart, you live freely and the schemes of the enemy have no chance at you. The Lord fights for you as you allow him to be your judge. He releases divine help, wisdom and strategy for you to overcome your enemies. And God did that for David. He brought him Jonathan (Saul’s son). And Jonathan loved David so much that he made a covenant to help David escape the evil of his own father Saul; but he asked David to remember him (Jonathan).
He essentially told David “Please be kind to my house especially after God has rescued you from your enemies” ( 1 Sam 20:15)
This is like saying “Please be kind to our family especially after God has rescued you from my father- the very person who wants to kill you“
Well later, it happened that both Jonathan and his father, Saul died in war and then David was anointed king by the men of the city ( 2 Sam 1& 2 Sam 2:4) Again, this would have been a perfect opportunity for David to say:
“ O well, Saul was wicked to me and his son- Jonathan- who helped me is dead too so technically I can get away without showing any kindness to their family. After all, I am now in a position of power, authority and influence“. Some folks are waiting to be promoted to a place of power just so they can revenge and retaliate. If that is your mission in life, then ask holy spirit to relieve you of this misguided thinking today because it is not a fruit of the spirit and does not glorify Christ in any way. Let the Lord handle your case and recompense you fully. Trust me, its the best deal you can get from a good father.
David indeed decided to show kindness to Saul’s house for Jonathan’s sake by inviting Mephiboshet to table and giving him all that belonged to Saul. He could have easily decided to be led by his fickle emotions and say “Saul did me bad. I am still very hurt; so hurt that I will even forgo my covenant with Jonathan” but instead, he was governed by kindness and allowed himself to be healed emotionally and refused to be held hostage by the evil meted out to him in the past by Saul.
The GOOD NEWS for you today is this: Holy Spirit can help you do that in this season as you lean on him and train yourself by reason of use of every experience to develop the fruit of the spirit.
How about when the circumstances are prime for you to avoid being kind? Godwilling by Friday, I am going to release the rest of this blog
Have a blessed wednesday. Stay empowered and cultivate the seed of kindness that is in you. Your Reward is For sure amen. As always, please feel free to share on 🙂
Throughout scripture, we are challenged to show kindness in a Christ-like fashion (Eph. 4:32, Matt 25:35). But the carnality of our culture has led many to misunderstand “kindness”; we have often limited “kindness” to a mere act or checklist of “goodly activities” to do for others. Also, we have sometimes labeled “kind” people as needy people with hidden agendas. But kindness is a spiritual virtue that pervades the very being of a person. it is spiritual fruit, that can be expressed in many ways.
PHILANTROPY: “Kindness” can be associated with philantrophy/philantrophic acts (i.e. love in the sense of caring, and increasing the wellbeing of human-kind.)
MERCY: “Kindness” can be associated with “mercy” (i.e. forgoing the judgment that one deserves).
GENTLENESS: “Kindness” can be associated with Gentleness (i.e. amiability and careful consideration of another).
In fact, after extensive studying and research towards this blogpost, I discovered that the Greek word “Chrestotes” is often translated into English as “kindness”; this kindness embodies the aforementioned virtues of gentleness, philantrophy, mercy, benignity and even grace in a sense. So the word “kindness” is not merely an act or “checklist of goodly activities” but rather, the spiritual disposition from which a believer lives and moves. It is a divine temperament that supernaturally empowers the believer to demonstrate true “Chrestotes” flows. Today, I will blog on (1): Philantropy
Kindness From The Perspective of Philanthropy
Philantropy is good. In fact, it is biblical and highly encouraged because scripture says in James 1:27 “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.’ And I find even unbelievers embrace philantropy because that moralistic intuition in man is innate so one can uphold the moral essence of mere “good” yet apart from the recognition of deity (2 Tim 3:5). There are several celebrities who do “good deeds”, support orphanages, pioneer community initiatives etc. Now, for some unbelievers or perhaps some believers caught up in legalism, kindness might be seen as forceful duty, obligation or a thing that brings self-gratification or self-promotion to the doer of the deed. That’s not to say we should not be kind or that self-gratification is wrong. Rather, we are to assess the motive and the purpose of the deed; the act of kindness is to be motivated by love (agape)otherwise it is corruptible. The one benefiting from your kindness might not always be deserving of it and actually, the real substance of your “kindness” will be tested not when the benefactor is deserving but rather undeserving. After all, if you (believer) can only be kind to those who are kind to you, then of what benefit is that? Even pagans can do that! (Matt 5:46).
Friend, I challenge you to do every kind deed as unto God and not unto mortal man, not out of the quest for fame or recognition of man or out of falsity at the expense of anything.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”—Col. 3:23
“The LORD detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.”- Pov. 11:1
“If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD–and he will repay you!”- Prov. 19:17
So Prov 19:17 (above) says when you help the poor, you are actually “lending” to God. Ha! Who is a better “borrower” to deal with than the Lord himself? Timely repayment in abundance is for sure! (PS: It is not that the Lord really needs anything from us but it is just a kind re-positioning proposal by him to put us in a place where we can access a blessing)
What Sort of “Work” is our “kindness”?
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”—1 Corinthians 3:13
The Lord reminds us that the day (i.e. light) shall reveal the true substance of our works here on earth. My friend, it shall be made manifest. Therefore, let us assess our “work” here on earth. Does italign with Gods word? Does itpromote good or subtly support evil? Does itplease the father? Does it possess hidden agendas? Does it look good on the surface yet rotten at the core? Does it stealthily promote violence, bloodshed, abuse and sin? Is it inspired by self-promotion or carnality or does it glorify Jesus? Would we still do it if the benefactors became undeserving of our kindness tomorrow or next week or next month? Lets ponder over these questions very well. Would we do it if it required more time, effort, prayer and labor on our side? Would we do it if it means pushing our egos, prides and stereotypes aside? Would we do it if it means letting go of hurts and biases? Would we do it in and out of season or just when it is convenient for us? Is it a show or it is for real? Will it stand the test of time? And in the day when all work is “tried”, what shall become of it? My friend, these are not simply “yes” or “no” questions. Out of the sincerity of our hearts we must ponder over, assess and answer these questions. Perhaps, you haven’t thought through all of it. It’s okay; I haven’t either but I am processing through them. Will you also?
PRAYER: I Pray the Lord will commend all our works in the day to come. Even if our “works” have been fueled by misguided motives, ill agendas and selfish gains, we can have a turn around by surrendering it to the Lord,repenting and asking him to create a right heart (Psalm 50) in us and consciously deciding to do “acts of kindness” for his glory. I fervently trust that he is ready to help you with that even right at this moment. Amen
Your Giftings, Inclinations, Passions Skills & Time can meet a Need Today!
First off, I applaud people, groups, institutions out there that are pioneering projects, missions for the genuine benefit of people; be it academic exploits, social entrepreneurships, community action groups and in particular orphanages to care for children who are abandoned and abused. I have personally had the opportunity to embark on missions trips and be engaged in social and health-related community ventures for the kingdom.
I had an opportunity to embark on a Global Missions trip with Dr. Patricia Bailey and a team to Jamaica to witness to and serve the needs of patients at an HIV/AIDS Hospice,a Girls Home and Orphanage while we rallied up youth in a small town for a worship night. To Gods glory, lives were transformed and we ought to continue in this spirit of service, love & kindness. Recently, I read and watched a live footage from an undercover journalist exposing the horrendous activities of an orphanage in another country: the Children were been abused by the so-called caretakers and my heart was broken; The paradox is that most of these children have had traumatic experiences – rejection, pain, abuse and then rescued by law enforcement officials, so it is upsetting for them to be further abused at these orphanages. But thank God for Jesus love which is shed abroad!
We as believers are called to rectify some of these things with our time, resources, influences, networks, etc so think of ways you can get involved out there in school, at work, with your NGO and so forth. At midnight today, I happened to wake up and watch a documentary about an orphanage in Tanzania run by the family of a college friend of mine. What a blessing! The accounts of these children (mostly under 15 years) was moving. This orphanage had rescued child victims from abusive households and unbelievable atrocites from their own family members! But thanks be to God, they are being housed in a safe haven, being given access to good education and above all experiencing the love of the father. Believers are in a position to do this and more because this is the very heartbeat of the father!
So, Where Do You Fit In All This? Well…….
My challenge to you is: Think of ways you can do your part in developing the fruit of Kindness. Have you been thinking of starting an NGO to benefit a marginalized group?Has the Lord been tugging on your heart to reach out to someone in need? Is there some unmet need in society that keeps you sleepless at night? Perhaps, the Lord is calling you to meet that need so that the good news might reach the ends of the earth. Perhaps, you have a passion for social activism to pioneer needed reforms and just recompense for the poor and needy (Prov. 31:9). I challenge you to be fearless and obedient hard as it may be. It might not be easy but the returns are great. Ask someone how it is done, get help, connect with others, go to the library and read and research. Talk to people, start an action plan and follow through. Please, follow through with every action plan. Kindness is a seed within you, release the fullness of it to this world because the world is waiting!
Friend, Thank you for taking time to read part (1). Kindness from perspective of Philantrophy. This week, I will go ahead and release the second post (2) Kindness from the Perspective of Mercy
As always, I enjoy your feedback and questions. I gladly welcome them all and will continue to make time to respond to them as I am able to. 🙂
I’ve been up all night into dawn writing this….so (yawning) lol. its.time to sleep for a few hours and wake up for the day 🙂