Friday, January 16, 2015

Be Kind

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Eph 4:32 NKJV).

Some other versions say it like this:

And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another (readily and freely) as God in Christ forgave you (AMP)

Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another,just as God in Christ also forgave you (NET).

You may have noticed the highlighted words. What I found interesting is that no matter what translation I viewed, every single one (except the Message) used the word kind. There is no substitute, no other word that can quite convey what that word means.

The other highlighted words, and and instead beg the question, "Why is and/instead even there? Instead of what? In addition to what?

Let's look at the previous verse, Ephesians 4:31. It says this:

Get rid of all hard feelings, anger and rage. Stop all fighting and lying. Don't have anything to do with any kind of hatred (NIRV).

Put aside all bitterness, losing your temper, anger, shouting and slander, along with every other evil (CEB)

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, violent assertiveness and slander, along with all spitefulness (CJB)

Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don't yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude (CEV).

Well, aren't you glad I asked?

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul was instructing Christians on holy living. If we read the whole chapter in context to these verses, we'll see much deeper instructions. In addition, he was instructing the Christians on how to treat one another in the Body of Christ. But we should not be limiting it! If we are to be Christlike, we are to act accordingly to all, not just our brothers and sisters in Christ!

 But here's why I chose to focus on "Be kind:"

Because it's so simple.

I was reading this chapter the other night and the simplicity of those words jumped out at me. 

Be kind.

There is no other way to say it.

No matter what, be kind. 
Even when you'd rather not. 
ESPECIALLY when you'd rather not.

Instead of getting angry and then going and talking about it, be kind.

Instead of shouting at the person so that you will feel better, be kind.
Instead of holding a grudge or thinking of revenge, be kind.



"But you don't know...you don't understand...you haven't had done to you..."

Yes, I have. And I've reacted in all those ways. And it got me nowhere but further from grace. Further from forgiveness. Further from the person I chose not to be kind to. And further from God, who forgave me through Christ.

Don't know how to end all of that? Paul tells us in verse 31:

Get rid of it.

Don't know how to get rid of it? (Again, in verse 31)


Stop.
Put it aside.
Don't have anything to do with the lies that come into your head that cause you to want to act otherwise.

Be kind.

It's simple. But not always easy.

Think Kind-ergarten. 

Remember that book, Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?
Among Robert Fulghum's list on page 2 (and maybe I've added some) are:

Share
Take turns
Apologize
Don't hit
Play fair
Clean up

Get the idea?
That's how you "be kind."

I could add:  Don't speak when you rather would.

Be kind today.

Blessings Along the Path,
Mary

Sharing this post with Faith Filled Friday, The Weekend Brew, Sunday Stillness, Blessing Counters, Thought Provoking Thursdays, Thriving Thursdays, Grace & Truth, Still Saturday

10 comments:

  1. These are awesome points. Kindness is contagious. I am convinced of that.

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  2. Amen Mary! We are on the same page. :-) I love the reminder from the book, Everything I learned... I also love the truth that we won't be kind until we "get rid of" the ugliness that comes naturally. Enjoy a blessing filled weekend!

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    1. yes, and it's not always easy to get rid of it! Thanks for taking the time to stop by Deb

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  3. It's hard to be kind when we have been spitefully used, but I want to stay in the center of God's grace! Speaking when I feel wounded and defensive won't get me anywhere nearer to God, that's for sure.
    Thanks for this reminder.
    Donna
    #Blessing Counters

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    1. Donna, you are so right there. I suppose my post was more from a standpoint of not reacting to something that just aggravates me, rather than wounds me. I agree that it's much more difficult to be kind when we've been in that deep place of wounding. But God...

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  4. Honestly, how is it often so difficult?! I frequently pray the Fruits of the Spirit over my children and find myself wondering why it's so easy to overlook this one. Thank you for the scripture!

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  5. That's it - Be KIND! Thanks for the reminder! Blessings!

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  6. Came over from Counting my Blessings - thanks for the wonderful reminder that Kindness matters!

    @spreadingJOY
    Marie

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  7. There are times you must cut ties with a group or a work place or even a church, but at least we can be kind as we proceed.

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