Thursday, April 23, 2009

True Woman - a lasting kindness

it's the last email from the true woman conference I attended last October in Chicago.

here's the email teaser.

A Lasting Kindness

When a friend from church is in the hospital or has a new baby, what do you do? Many women spring into action, buying gifts, making meals, and showing great kindness in practical ways. But when someone closer to home has a need, do you spring into action with the same enthusiasm? Learn to take kindness home.*

  • How will you be remembered? What I want people to remember about me is that I cared, that I was kind, that I loved, that I touched their lives in practical ways that made a difference.
  • Sometimes our own families are the ones we show the least kindness to. Sometimes it’s because we’ve been hurt, sometimes it’s because we’re lazy, sometimes we just take them for granted. We need to think about kindness in our own homes.
  • It’s not your responsibility to fix all the problems of the needy in the world. But God has called you to be sensitive to the needs of those that He’s put into your sphere of influence and to open your eyes and be available to minister to their practical needs.

Listen to or read more from “A Lasting Kindness”

oh that opener and thought...actually no I don't. I often don't even think about it. I figure someone will care for them. Sounds bad I know...but I just don't think that quickly about it. NOW...if I KNOW there's a need and someone points it out to me...yes, I'll act. But normally I need these things pointed out to me.

From Titus 2 we read:
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
To be kind, that's the focus of this lesson.

Nancy says the following, which made sense to me:

Now if you go to the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians chapter 5, verse 22—you know there’s love, joy, peace, longsuffering—two of the Fruit of the Spirit relate to this concept. One is goodness and the other is kindness. These are related concepts. The word that is translated kindness in the Fruit of the Spirit is a word that has to do with having a kind heart attitude or disposition toward others. It’s a kind heart.

The word that is translated goodness in the Fruit of the Spirit and the word that is used here in Titus 2 is a word that means not just a kind heart, but kind activity on behalf of others. This word is active goodness. You have a good or kind heart but you don’t just keep it in your heart. You do something about it. It comes out.

Jerry Bridges talks about these twin, or cousin, qualities of kindness and goodness. He says, “Kindness is the inner disposition created by the Holy Spirit that causes us to be sensitive to the needs of others, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Goodness is kindness in action, words, and deeds.”

Goodness is a kind heart in action. (I do like that way of looking at it). :)

Goodness is the sensitivity of the Holy Spirit within us, acted out in the lives of others.

I want to be 'show more goodness'. :)

I don't always think of myself as being kind.

When I'm tired (which seems like all the time lately) I'm more prone to just zone into myself unless someone forces me out of it (preschoolers are good at that). "Mommy...come play with me". Or "HUN! I need your help! NOW!" (both work well). :)

Kindness to me is...making meals my hubby likes, it's playing with my boy when I want to do my own thing, it's treating a sick bunny's eye so that it heals more quickly, it's smiling at a stranger, it's trying hard to organize a house in a functional for the family manner (not just functional for me), it honouring my hubby when he makes me proud...and even when he doesn't, it's extending grace to a preschooler who hasn't slept enough and is cranky and whiney and finding ways to make it better for us both to cope when we're alone AND THEN...not complaining about it when hubby gets home from another meeting.

I know that there is more to kindness and goodness. I know that MY HEART needs much more refining by the Holy Spirit. I know that my heart is not so very naturally kind...but that God is changing me and making me more aware of my very real need for him. I find the more that I am aware of HIM the more I am able to better serve my family and others in a kindly manner.

Nancy goes on in her message to talk about Dorcas, in Acts 9 we read:

36Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. 37In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, "Please come to us without delay." 39So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. 40But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.
Putting aside the amazement of someone who was dead being raised to life again....I still find that idea stunning (outside the fact that Jesus rose from the dead...he was GOD!)...but this woman was missed because of how very kind she was. look at what is says here:Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. This disciple of God was full of good works and charity. It doesn't say that she was says that she was full of good works and charity. One can do these things without being kind...but consider how badly she was missed
All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them
....that speaks to these things being done with kindness. This is how we want to be remembered isn't it? With people missing us because of how well we treated them. And it all starts with us being disciples of Christ. Loving him and through the loving of him being changed into people of kindness, making our acts of services deeds of good works.

Be changed in your heart by the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit.

Develop a kind heart.

Let that kindness flow out into your life as good works. Go out there...Serve your God by serving others. :)

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