Fruit of the Spirit:Goodness

Today we kick off week 6 of the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge.  Please try 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 kindness; we discussed how our differences can help us grow, the value of listening, and a few tips on what kindness looks like in 2020.

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

SCRIPTURE:

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.


DEFINITION OF GOODNESS:
1the quality or state of being good
2: used interjectionally or in phrases especially to express mild surprise or shock oh, my goodness! goodness knows
3the nutritious, flavorful, or beneficial part of something


REFLECTION:
It never ceases to amaze me how one of my devotional readings each morning is on point.  I think of it as divine inspiration.  On Sunday morning one of my favorite devotional books, Wake Up to Hope, by Joel and Victoria Osteen shared an insightful devotion on goodness.  “We all have an assignment.  You could say that we all have a ministry.  It may not be up in front of people.  It may not be to go overseas and be a missionary. Our ministry starts by being good to people.” Goodness is an action – it is our behavior.

When it comes to goodness, I think about circles of influence:


We have the ability to directly control only a small portion of our lives.  We can choose our behavior within our circle of control.  Tthese are things that exist within me – my attitude, my behavior, my mood.  I can control how I treat my family – I can control myself.  The circle of influence is the next level, all the other relationships – family, neighbors, coworkers.  The circle of concern is the parts of life that I am aware of and interested in but has less direct impact on my life.

For instance, I can control how I treat myself.  How good I am to me.  It is why I have spent twelve years in fitness.  I have one body, I better take care of it.  I have one mind, I’d better nurture it.  By being good to myself, I am better equipped to share goodness with the next circle of influence: my family, friends, community.  I can also control my behavior, choose kindness.  I can control how I talk to my children.  How I treat my husband when he walks in the door.  I can set an example of goodness for others to see and by doing so help guide their path to goodness, too.

Imagine if all circles of control radiated goodness.  What do you think the circle of concern would look like?  As Osteen writes, we all have a ministry.  It is to be good.  When we each take the time to be good to one another it has a trickle effect through the circles of influence.  What do you want your trickle effect to look like?  How do you want to make people feel?  

I have a quote on my bulletin board that inspires me everyday:

“๐“‘๐“ฎ ๐“ผ๐“ธ๐“ถ๐“ฎ๐“ซ๐“ธ๐“ญ๐”‚ ๐”€๐“ฑ๐“ธ ๐“ถ๐“ช๐“ด๐“ฎ๐“ผ ๐“ฎ๐“ฟ๐“ฎ๐“ป๐”‚๐“ซ๐“ธ๐“ญ๐”‚ ๐“ฏ๐“ฎ๐“ฎ๐“ต ๐“ต๐“ฒ๐“ด๐“ฎ ๐“ผ๐“ธ๐“ถ๐“ฎ๐“ซ๐“ธ๐“ญ๐”‚.”
 

It might be in the very small moment between getting from the car to bed after a long day of baseball games, around the breakfast table, during a board meeting, while helping a neighbor clean up his yard after a storm – but your decision to be good has an impact.  You might not see it.  Trust me, it is there.  You make a difference.  

ACTION CHALLENGE:
Again this week I ask you to take action by walking through your week choosing to be good within your circles of influence. Remember you make an impact just by being YOU!  

Fruit of the Spirit Challege: Kindness

We are half way through the MaverickRx Fruit of the Spirit Challenge.ย  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 toย join us Thursday at 8:30 for our Facebook discussionย of this week’s topic.ย ย 

In case you missed it,ย last week we talked about patience.ย  We explored how difficult it is to be patient while living in a “now culture” and while facing challenging timesย (hello 2020 ๐Ÿคช).

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

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:
 

โ€œ๐‘€๐‘œ๐“ˆ๐“‰ ๐“…๐‘’๐‘œ๐“…๐“๐‘’ ๐’น๐‘œ ๐“ƒ๐‘œ๐“‰ ๐“๐’พ๐“ˆ๐“‰๐‘’๐“ƒ ๐“Œ๐’พ๐“‰๐’ฝ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐’พ๐“ƒ๐“‰๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰ ๐“‰๐‘œ ๐“Š๐“ƒ๐’น๐‘’๐“‡๐“ˆ๐“‰๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’น;
๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’๐“Ž ๐“๐’พ๐“ˆ๐“‰๐‘’๐“ƒ ๐“Œ๐’พ๐“‰๐’ฝ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐’พ๐“ƒ๐“‰๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰ ๐“‰๐‘œ ๐“‡๐‘’๐“…๐“๐“Ž.โ€

 

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.ย  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.ย 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.ย We expect smooth sailing, instant, easy breezy lives.ย ย 

The fact is, lifeย is hard and challenging.ย Yet, it is our choice to sit in that hard place with a negative mindset, grumbling about circumstances.ย  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.ย Scripture teaches us that the tribulations we see in life present us withย teachable moments in the art of patience – God’s endurance training, so to speak.

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

In Romans, Paul asks us to be “patient in tribulation”.ย To takeย action with patience is toย wait in prayer.ย  Talk to God, dump the entirety of your troubles on Him.ย 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.ย Be gentle with each other as you would like God to be gentle with you.ย ย ย ย 

SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE:

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

Best Devotional Books [Christian Moms]

Do you ever feel off-center, stressed out, and overwhelmed? This week Melissa & Rhonda share four daily devotional book titles with you that help them stay centered. Each day is a new adventure in motherhood, right? We get up, we hit the ground running. And some days are just STRESSFUL!

We have found the more we rely on God to carry our worries, the easier our days are. To keep that simple act in mind, we start each day with five to forty-five minutes with our daily devotional books. Some days, we only have a few minutes, while other days we can really sit down and focus on the devotional and time for our prayers. We release our worries and ask for guidance. In doing this small act, we’ve found that time and time again – it helps!

Watch our latest episode and learn the titles of the books we rely on to stay centered and let our lights shine into the world around us.

Much love,

MAV