Friday, May 30, 2014

Sunny-Day Kindness

Read: Ephesians 4:29-32

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.                                            Ephesians 4:32

     Perhaps you remember reading Aesop’s Fables in elementary school like I did. One of his stories that I still remember is “The Sun and the Wind.” The Sun and the Wind were in an argument over who was more powerful. A traveler happened along so they decided to use him to settle their dispute. The Wind said he thought he could use his force to make the traveler remove his coat more quickly than the Sun could. The Sun agreed and went behind a cloud to watch. The Wind rushed in with all its fury. It huffed and blew and heaved great amounts of air, but it only made the traveler draw his coat tighter around his chest. At last the Wind gave up, and it was the Sun’s turn. He eased out from behind the cloud and began to cast his warm rays over the traveler. In just a couple minutes, the traveler was so warmed that he stopped to remove his coat. Aesop ended by saying, “Kindness effects more than severity.”
     Most would consider kindness to be purely a practical aspect of life, but it is actually very spiritual as well. God commands kindness from His children. One of the easiest things to do, especially for young men, is to try to act macho and tough around the girls or younger children. They try to prove their toughness; as a result they end up mistreating the young ladies or the younger boys. They try to get attention by picking on those who are not as strong as they are. Be careful not to fall into that trap and act that way. You may find an advantage now by gaining a certain amount of respect due to fear. But in the end, unkindness never wins lasting friends, and it will ultimately lead to a loss of influence amongst your peers.
     When God commands us to be tenderhearted, He is not telling us to be soft and let people walk all over us. What He is saying, however, it that we should feel compassion toward those who are not as fortunate as we are, and, instead of picking on them as others may, we should befriend them. A kind word may be just what that person needs to encourage them to continue on. A harsh word said in haste to get a laugh may be just what drives them over the edge.     
     When you are kind, you will find that those who seem less privileged will become friends that you never realized you could have. When you become interested in others is when God will give back to you in this area beyond what you could imagine.

Quote of the day: “Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” 

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