A Lifestyle Of Kindness
Jesus said: “And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of My followers, you will surely be rewarded.”.
In the Book of Galatians there are nine virtues listed, and they are named the “fruit of the Spirit”. Kindness is one of the nine planted within God's people by the Holy Spirit. Webster's dictionary describes kind as: “gentle, tender, and good”.
Ralph Waldo Emerson stated: “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”. There are many examples of planned actions of kindness, and also spontaneous deeds of kindness.
One planned action of kindness is the example of the all-volunteer nonprofit organization called: “Therapy Horses of Gentle Carousel”. They are located in Florida, Tennessee, California, and Greece. They visit over 35,000 people each year at hospitals, hospice programs, people who are experiencing stressful occurrences, and various other places.
According to the website: horse-therapy.org, the tiny therapy horses go through at least a two year basic training program to learn to handle the situations that they may encounter during each day and they handle them with “great charm and fearlessness”.
The therapy horses travel a lot and their large blue eyes twinkle with kindness to everyone who meets them. They express gentleness and are tender to the people who are undergoing difficult challenges. The horses, and also the volunteers, are examples of the “fruit” of a planned action of kindness.
An instance of a spontaneous deed of kindness was illustrated by Mark De Haan, M.D. in “Our Daily Bread”. The occurrence happened in a New York subway, and it is about a “young man, head covered by a hooded sweatshirt”, and an “older man”. The young rider “fell asleep on the shoulder” of the older man. Another passenger offered to “wake up” the person sleeping. However, the older man quietly stated: “He must have had a long day. Let him sleep. We've all been there.”. James M. Barrie, a Scottish writer stated: “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves”. The older man expressed kindness and spread sunshine to all the people around him.
In Acts, there is an example of a believer who lived in Joppa. She was a kind lady named Dorcas. She was known for her kindness and generosity as she conveyed sunshine into lives of others. Dorcas had an enormous impact on her community because she would go out of her way to help others, including the poor widows. She was a seamstress. She constructed coats and other garments for the poor. Dorcas was a biblical example of a philanthropist, and her lifestyle of kindness is still providing an example to everyone.
When you are a Christian you are blessed with the Holy Spirit embedded within you which exhibits the “fruit of the Spirit” named kindness. God's community of believers are blessed with many talents, and whether you are a seamstress, a volunteer for a therapy horse organization, or a person sitting on the subway, God will open opportunities for you to express a lifestyle of kindness to any soul of man or animal.
Lord God, thank You for the Holy Spirit within us. Help us to use kindness for Your glory. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington