~PLEASE WATCH THIS BEAUTIFUL VIDEO BEFORE YOU READ BELOW~
"Kindness" - When we read about the fruit of the Spirit, we see the template of what God wants us to become.
"The fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" - Galatians 5:22
Did you notice that none of those attributes talk about religious division, hatred, prejudice, doctrinal purity, church attendance or having the "Truth"? They also are not things you do, but rather what is within you. In my almost six decades, I have met many religious people. Most have had these attributes in abundance, some have used their "religion" as a tool to show their superiority over non-believers. These self-righteous paragons of Christianity have been some of the meanest people I have ever encountered. They collect their adherence to dogma and their own moral code like a Boy Scout collects Merit Badges. I believe the fruit of the Spirit is really the essence of Christianity.
The church was intended to be the incarnation of God in the midst of His creation. It was never meant to be a political or religious power. It is to be a group of people who, after placing their faith in God, continually reflect His kindness and love to everyone they encounter.
A large number of the people who follow this blog have been hurt by this very church. There are literally thousands of people who believe the church has left them. Sadly for many, they also believe God has abandoned them. I know exactly how you feel. I have written about what it was like for me to wander in the "wastelands", and it wasn't pleasant. Even though I felt betrayed and abandoned, I still knew there was a North Star within me calling me back to God. I have read a great deal about King David. He was a deeply flawed man, yet never gave up on God. He committed adultery and even planned the death of the husband of his lover. Yet he still, in his own feeble way, continued to make his way back to his Shepherd. My prayer for you is that you find your way home.
I many ways I am hoping that some church leaders will read this. To them I say, go out and find every person your church has alienated or marginalized. When you find them, apologize for your failure to treat them with the kindness God expects of you. Look at the fruit of the Spirit and see how much of your treatment of them reflects that fruit. See if reconciliation works better than judgment.
Now to the rest of you. Kindness does not cost you a penny. I would invite you to start incorporating random and intentional acts of kindness into your daily life. We live in a hostile competitive world. Kindness and compassion seem to get set aside as we continue our fast paced lives. Look for opportunities to be kind. Intentionally become an instrument of healing with those around you. Don't expect anything in return, nor expect the person to become miraculously what you want them to be. Just know in your heart you are doing what God would have you do. Maybe, just maybe, this world could become a better place.
Have a wonderful Day!
And for Josephine, Here's Johnny, and by the way, HE NAILS IT!