Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Teaching of Kindness

She conducts her conversations with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is ever her concern. (Proverbs 31:26, The Voice)

Kindness is not popular these days.  Compassion is not in vogue.  These days it is more popular to fight for your rights, to argue your case, to push to the front of the line, to claw your way to the top, to call your lawyer.  

Kindness is not always easy.  It is easy enough to be kind when everyone is still being polite, when you have plenty of time, when there is enough good things to go around.  But when others are being rude, when I'm in a rush, when I'm afraid I may not get my share, when kindness will be costing me something, then, well, it's tough!  

That's when I find that kindness is not for sillies.  It takes strength of character.  It takes trusting God.  Sometimes it takes more than I have at the moment.

Giovanni, my 7-year-old grandson, was telling us about his school recess at the dinner table tonight.  The other children were mean to him today and he was determined he was going to be mean to them right back!  How do you teach gentleness towards others when they are not being considerate?  On what basis can we be nice to the nasty people?

God.  God was good to us when we did not deserve it.  God's kindness is towards us although we are thoughtless and rebellious.  Over and over again, scripture reminds us of God's lovingkindness: 

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love;   I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." (Jeremiah 31:3)

"I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them." (Hosea 11:4)

God is our example, our motivation, our promise.  As we are drawn to Him with His kindness, so we draw others to ourselves when we practice kindness.  

Here we see the Excellent Wife speaking in wisdom and kindness.  That is how she conducts her conversations.  Not in idle chatter, not in gossip, not in anxieties.  Her words reflect her faith in God and her desire to be like Him.

Father, I want all my conversations to be like this too!  Please be close to me when I am anxious, envious, rushed, or provoked and fill me with Your Holy Spirit so I can show your kindness to my husband, my children and all I meet!  

Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)

No comments: