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!
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.
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.
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.