Fruit of the Spirit Challege: Kindness

We are half way through the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge.  We’re curious if these weekly emails have given you food for thought? We are hopeful that they’ve been a bright spot in your week and we hope you’ll remember to join us Thursday at 8:30 for our Facebook discussion of this week’s topic.  

In case you missed it, last week we talked about patience.  We explored how difficult it is to be patient while living in a “now culture” and while facing challenging times (hello 2020 🤪).

Let’s get to it!  This week we’re talking about KINDNESS!  

SCRIPTURE:

Proverbs 11:17 Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.
Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.


REFLECTION:

It used to be that if you didn’t have anything nice to say, you said nothing at all, or so we were told.  In 2020 it feels like no one has anything nice to say and they say it all the time.  People have become embolden, almost brazen, in their meanness.  

To be honest, the lack of kindness toward other human beings was a motivating factor in the creation of the Fruit of the Spirit Challenge.  A massive shift occured this year – we went from living in our little bubbles to staring day in and day out at disease numbers, political unrest, racial tension, and inequities in healthcare and education.  Our news outlets and social media feeds are peppered with division across a broad range of critically important current events.

Everyone feels like they must take a stand, have a position, voice their opinion, speak up, be heard! At some point though, we’re all just filling the space with noise.  We aren’t listening, caring, or helping one another as we should.  We aren’t digging into our hearts for compassion; we’re laying into people with our words of division.  By participating in the negative noise, we are perpetuating it.  

Here is a perfect example.  Today I was looking at something on Facebook.  There was a negative comment on the post that I disagreed with – not the content of the words, just the fact that the person felt the need to type the negativity.  I almost clicked the angry face and asked the person a question. 

I refrained.  I chose to pray for my own patience and kindness and I kept scrolling.  Listen, it isn’t going to stop.  It isn’t going away.  People are angrier than they have ever been and sure, they have every right to be, people have every right to have their own opinion and share it.  But what gives us all the right to treat each other badly because of the difference of opinion?  What gives us the right to be out right mean?  Why do we feel compelled to explain our side, give them a piece of our mind?  SPOILER ALERT: we aren’t all supposed to be the same.  Our differences keep us open, learning, and growing.  Our differences ask us to look at the world through a different lense, explore our own beliefs, and narrow in on who we are as individuals.

The only way to get closer to kindness is to CHOOSE KINDESS amidst difference.  

Sometimes I am lucky enough to go on a date with my dad (p.s. Dad it’s been too long!) We talk for hours and I love it. I always take away more than he does because he is wise and has read more books than anyone I’ve ever met.  On one such date he shared a Stephen R. Covey quote:
 

“𝑀𝑜𝓈𝓉 𝓅𝑒𝑜𝓅𝓁𝑒 𝒹𝑜 𝓃𝑜𝓉 𝓁𝒾𝓈𝓉𝑒𝓃 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒾𝓃𝓉𝑒𝓃𝓉 𝓉𝑜 𝓊𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇𝓈𝓉𝒶𝓃𝒹;
𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓎 𝓁𝒾𝓈𝓉𝑒𝓃 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒾𝓃𝓉𝑒𝓃𝓉 𝓉𝑜 𝓇𝑒𝓅𝓁𝓎.”

 

Keep this quote front of mind as you engage in conversations. Listening is essential to kindness. Choosing kindness in 2020 looks very much like:

  • Listening without personal motive
  • Caring for each other instead of tearing each other down
  • Being open, honest, and thoughtful
  • Respecting and accepting other people just as they are
  • Electing not to engage with negativity

The absolute beauty of it all is that what you put out into the world is what comes back to you. Keep pushing forward with kindness, keep on the path Luke recommends and kindness will surely come back to you.  


ACTION CHALLENGE:
This week I’ve removed the “social media challenge” and rather ask you to take action by walking through your week choosing kindness – hold doors, smile, LISTEN, and learn from the people in your world. Set an example of kindness and reap the rewards that only love can provide.

Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

Welcome to week 4 of the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge! Two weeks back we talked about peace and how hard it is to remain at peace during times of struggle.

Remember to join us on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. on Facebook to share your thoughts and find a little inspiration, too.

Let’s get to it!  This week we’re talking about PATIENCE!  

SCRIPTURE:

Romans 12:12

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”


REFLECTION:

We live in a now culture.  One in which everyone wants immediate action, immediate solutions, immediate plans. We email and text people expecting an immediate response. We expect everything to happen exactly as we want. We want traffic to move out of our way, everyone to stay in their own lane, mind their own business, don’t create any problems. We expect smooth sailing, instant, easy breezy lives.  

The fact is, life is hard and challenging. Yet, it is our choice to sit in that hard place with a negative mindset, grumbling about circumstances.  It is our choice to lose our temper in a fit of road rage, over the fridge going out, the internet moving slow, or the children not behaving. Scripture teaches us that the tribulations we see in life present us with teachable moments in the art of patience – God’s endurance training, so to speak.

We all have struggles, big or small. The fact is, we don’t know other people’s struggles. We are called to show up for friends and strangers alike with patience and empathy.  Rather than grumbling over negative circumstances, ask for patience and dial into gratitude.

In Romans, Paul asks us to be “patient in tribulation”. To take action with patience is to wait in prayer.  Talk to God, dump the entirety of your troubles on Him. Lean in while showing compassion for other humans around you – the kids, the spouse, the boss, even the driver in the car next to you. Be gentle with each other as you would like God to be gentle with you.    

SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE:

Tag @MaverickRx in a post inspired by patience on Facebook this week; share something with us that reminds you how much easier life is when we trust God.

Fruit of the Spirit: Love

Welcome to MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge.  We’re happy that you’ve decided to join us to reflect on how to better live in alignment with the nine Fruits of the Spirit.  First, we think its incredibly important to note that we are not experts in how to live in perfect Christian alignment.  We are simply trying to steer a course for ourselves and engage with you in conversation and action that nurtures connection with one another and God.  That being the case, we believe you’ll get more from the challenge if you can join us on Facebook at 8:15 Thursday mornings to talk about the weekly theme.  

Let’s get to it!  This week we’re talking about LOVE!  

SCRIPTURE:

Leviticus 19:18 New International Version (NIV)
18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”


REFLECTION:

Overwhelmed by messages of hate, anger, division, and unrest – people have become comfortable biting each others heads off, acting out in anger, and disrespecting difference.  It is easy to lash out.  

Rhonda and I lean in differing political positions.  We’ve spent several uncomfortable hours in conversation, certainly rubbing each other the wrong way at times.  We don’t yell.  We don’t call each other names.  We listen and talk.  Sometimes it is hard to listen to different view points.  

We have much more in common, of course, than we do in conflict.  We both love God.  We encourage our spiritual relationships, we connect over stories of marriage, mothering, and menopause.  Most importantly though, we’ve learned that to love a friend is to respect each other’s right to have her own opinion.

In the book of Leviticus we are asked to love our neighbors.  Even when our neighbor is of a different race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or just disagrees with us.  Leviticus 19:18 asks us to look at the world and the people within it through the lense of love – and treat them well.  It is often hard work to do.  But the action of living life through the lense of love is the most critical work of all.  

SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE:

This week on social media filter your comments, posts, and images through the lense of love.  Is your participation in the social space shining positive light into the world? 

Share a message of LOVE on social media with #lovewins and tag @MaverickRx on Facebook.  If you’d like to use one of our challenge images CLICK HERE

To join the challenge today!

Esther 4:14

We’re walking through unchartered waters. Our cultural landscape has flipped upside down, we’re coping day-to-day, we are unsure where tomorrow will lead.

In these times, I believe we’re given the option of sinking into our worry or leaning into our faith.

It is our choice.

The fact is no one is equipped for the emotional, physical, and mental strain of living through a global pandemic. People who worried before, will worry more now. People who prayed before, will pray more now. People who saw the glass half full or half empty, will see it more full or more empty now.

That perspective is your choice.

I was raised by two of the most optimistic people alive. My mother can make lemonade out of lemons better than anyone I’ve ever met in my life. My dad implores me to see the good in any, especially this, situation.

It is no wonder then that I believe in my heart that we all have the choice to sink into worry or lean into faith. I choose to lean into my faith, wrap my arms around what I can control within the walls of my home, and try as I might to shine a little happiness and joy into the world.

A smile still goes a long way.

Today on our MaverickRx Coffee Clutch, I shared this verse from the book of Esther.

Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.

Esther 4:14

Perhaps you do not feel equipped for the challenge of today or the road ahead. If you will take each day one at a time, pray and ask God to hold your fear, infuse you with patience, strength, and guidance; I believe that He can hold the worry long enough for you to make this day good.

Today I share this coloring page to lift you up and let you know that you are not alone. You are strong enough to weather this storm, and when you feel weak, lean in.

Click here for printable .pdf