When was the last time you have seen someone be kind in return to the unkind?
Tis the season with the arrival of back to school for Wednesday night classes to begin afresh. Having recently started a new part-time evening job, I have not been able to make more than one of them. But I have carried with me the part that stuck the most.
“It’s not a command to read and re-read the bible until you are blue in the face. It’s about studying His word, which could mean sitting on a single verse for weeks on end.”
So that is where I’m at, in this small place of my faith seeming simpler than it has been in my 26 years of trying trying doing doing. Instead of trying to earn more bragging rights by adding a new version of the Bible having been read through to my christian belt, I am praying to God, Jesus, & Holy Spirit. Being intentional with my prayers. Being intentional to the name I call my God. Being intentional with the depth of my scripture intake. Here I am, soaking in two small verses.
I have tried to be so many things, but I have not tried to simply be His. I have not tried to simply live by His words. To KEEP His words. Nope.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” —James 1:2-4, NLT
This is where I am asking God to keep my feet up on the ottoman, to not let me lose track of the days between my thoughts returning to His words. I’m asking Him to write this truth on my heart, for the beautiful days and the landmines. Even more than ever, the treacherous.
When was the last time I treated someone kindly who didn’t earn my kindness?
Oh, but it has been so long.
I can’t even recall the last time I have witnessed someone sharing kindness with someone who couldn’t reciprocate.
Here is where I think situations get the best of me, because I try to guard my heart by locking it up and barricading it away. I cover it with apathy in the face of those who will squash it like a bug in public, using the excuse that they are ‘not trying to be rude’ or ‘just being honest’. I tuck my heart even further away from those who are wolves in sheep clothing, and because of the fact anyone could be revealed as the next wolf, I simply hide my heart away from everyone.
So how do we balance guarding our heart with still being kind, without being phony?
We plead for Christ to intercede, asking Him to do the work of guarding our hearts while we do the continued work of His kingdom, revealing the Father’s love through kindness. Lets pick back up where He left off.
The commentary in my Bible on James 1:2-4 begins, “We can’t really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure.”
Maybe kindness is simple for you in the face of reckless people. Maybe for you, its trusting God when he doesn’t seem to be providing. Trusting that he is going to bless you with child, job, home, or financial stability. Maybe its relying on him to help us be truthful when we know it could cost us our jobs or relationships.
Are we a people who are revealed to be Christ-like under pressure?
After all, that’s when it matters most.
Lets try it in this tough season where politics leave us on two different pages. Where some are choosing greatness and the others are choosing the lesser of two evils. Lets try it in this sticky season where some can’t find a place for same sex marriages and some are waiting for those people to change their minds. Lets not make our beliefs things to fight over at the dinner table and lets not view people who aren’t on the same page as us as the enemy. Let’s recognize the fact that there is a depth that goes deeper than the person who says she is proud of her abortion. Deeper than the man who wants to build a wall. Deeper than them. Deeper than me.
Let’s just be kind, okay?
It’s your turn, love. Break the silence. Spill your guts.