Thank goodness for the kindness of Jesus to me this week as I became aware of more than I would like to admit times when my kindness towards others fell short. Real short.
Love Attribute #2: Kindness=Care/consideration/selflessness versus Unkindness=disconcern for another, rude, selfishness- “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted…” Ephesians 4:32a
Kindness versus unkindness situation #1: My husband and I took our kids to Awana’s (A Bible memory/game filled night for kids) as we typically do. The beauty of this is they love it and our learning God’s Word, PLUS my hubby and I get a quick date night after we drop them off. A win, win if I have ever seen one.
I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile and thought I should probably not go talk to her because there is a possibility it could be a long conversation and I don’t want to cut into our already short date night time. I couldn’t help myself. I jumped in with both feet and ended up talking to her while my husband is patiently waiting for me.
The problem here is I didn’t consider my husband’s needs. I knew he would wait. I was more concerned with my in the moment conversation than protecting our scheduled time together. I see this now. But in the moment all I wanted to do was justify my actions to my husband. I didn’t want to listen to how my actions had been unkind to him. Quarreling was on the tip of my “to do list”, if you know what I mean. Then this scripture I had read only that morning came to mind, “”And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone,” (2 Timothy 2:24a). Timely. So, the Jesus kindness within me led me to hold my ever wanting to spew my rights, disagreements, and justifications, I pressed down the “quarrel in me”. And apologised to my husband with a, “I’m sorry, honey, I won’t do that again”.
Kindness versus unkindness situation #2: I was doing my routine dishes and dancin to the Christian radio station after dinner. (Christian music plays more often than not in our house-for my sanity and overall need for the Jesus perspective/attitude in my heart and mind.) My daughter said, “Mommy, I want Jazz music to do my dancing to. Can you turn on some Jazz music?” (First off, not sure where my four year old has even heard of Jazz music, but the main point is, the Christian music was my life blood and she was asking to change it?? Oh the depravity!) I matter of factly replied, “Honey, you can do your dancing to these songs.” Her prompt and dagger in the heart teared response was, “Mom, you always get what you want.” (Gotta love those, showing your yucky self moments.) Immediately, “Love is kind”, ran through my mind and I recognized kindness is about not getting what I want. Being humbled by her statement I excitedly yelled, “You are right, so let’s get some Jazz on!” She jumped up and down and said, “Mommy, do you know why I like Jazz music?” “No, I don’t honey, why?” I replied, intrigued now. “Because it’s jazzy.” She said. (Well of course! Isn’t that why anyone would love Jazz music?)
Kindness versus unkindness situation #3: My last “kindness kick” story is about how the kindness of God brought me to tears this week. I attended a worship conference at the end of the week and was hopeful to come away with encouragement, new ideas, grounding wisdom, and new friends. What I was not hoping to come away with was smeared mascara from crying in the bathroom. But unfortunately, the latter became my reality. I felt God was asking me to hand out some of my “Sing Over Me” women’s devotional books. My inner commentary is always my worst enemy as I considered following through with this, “The women will think you are prideful. Why are you promoting yourself? Who are you anyway to even have a book?” As I sat in the restroom, the tears began to stream down my face as I felt bombarded with the “You are NOT” statements. I felt so unworthy to be used by my God. In that very moment the scripture, “I did not give you a spirit of timidity (or fear), but of power and love and self discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7) came to mind. In my moment of fear and insecurity, the kindness of God gave me strength, courage and reassuring. That He was with me. And that I could do this with his help. (Any fear of man and discouragement of who I am made to be in Christ is only from one fiery place!)
So I wiped all the mascara off my face and headed into the “women in ministry” session where I had been given permission to hand out my books. I got the opportunity to share a little of my testimony and handed out the books to the women. The Lord opened multiple doors through this to be able to pray for some women and encourage them in their faith journey’s. But two woman’s words have stayed with me, “You are the reason I was supposed to come to this session”, and “Thank you for giving us these books, this was so kind, so very kind of you.” I had not even thought about giving away these books as an act of love and specifically fulfilling this week’s focus of kindness. But praise be to God that when we are obedient to His voice, His kindness comes out without us even being aware of it! Oh how the kindness of God blesses me over. And over. And over again.
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” Romans 2:4
“Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.” Psalm 63:3
© 2012 Standing on Peace