Living in Kindness by PASTOR MICHAEL CISLER North Kent Bible Church There are a lot of places where we can—and do—spend our time: at home, at the grocery store, at work, at the gym, where we volunteer, at a restaurant… the list could go on. All of these places and many more have in common the fact that there are people there. I realize that this seems a bit elementary, but the truth is sometimes I and others seem to act like there is nobody else around. We can become so consumed with only the thoughts of what we have happening in our lives that we miss the opportunity of kind interaction with others. We find in the second part of a verse in the Bible, Colossians 3:12 specifically, the following phrase: “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” This standard is given specifically to Christians in this text. A belief in Jesus as Lord ought to change us from being absorbed in only the things of our own lives to being committed to interacting in a positive way with others. If the opportunity arises, do we wait a few more seconds to hold the door open for somebody else or do we continue on our way because we don’t have a few seconds to spare? Do we smile at other customers and employees at the store or do we rush through with our head down to be sure to complete our shopping list? Do we speak kindly to the people with whom we come in contact or do we speak rudely or even ignore them? We have an opportunity regularly to treat others with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. I am going to choose to live that way not only with people I know but also with those I don’t yet know. So when you see someone you don’t know holding the door for you and greeting you with a smile, it may be me. It is my hope that I will also see you doing the same.
by PASTOR MATT PUETT Faith Bible Church The Bible clearly teaches that the world hated Jesus without a reason (John 15:25). We are further taught that if the world hated Jesus then it will hate His followers (John 15:19-20). A natural response to this hate from the world is to hate back, to stand up for our rights, and to make everyone realize that we deserve to be treated better. While I want to act this way, the Bible teaches me something quite different. Luke 6 teaches the Christian how to respond to the world. Verse 27 tells the Christian, “Love your enemies.” How am I supposed to do this? Do I just have to say “I love you”? The answers come in the verses that follow. When someone hates you, you are to do good things for her. If someone curses you (wishes bad things to happen), you are to bless him (wish good things to happen). If someone uses you for their own personal gain, you are to pray for that person. Most Christians either don’t know these verses are here, or they simply choose to ignore them. The next verses (29-31) teach us to love even if someone is humiliating us or stealing the clothes off our backs. We are to be willing to lend everything we have, even if we know we will never get it back, and to treat others as we would want them to treat us. Am I really supposed to do these things? Yes, this is a command. Why would I want to do these things? Verse 35 says, “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” You do these things because you will receive eternal rewards.