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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Simple Acts of Kindness


A friend gave me a copy of the Good Housekeeping, July 2012 issue when he was done with it.  Right away an article listed on the cover caught my eye, “Little Acts of Kindness, that will change your life.”  Since our typical diet of news is replete with the negative happenings around us, I always appreciate articles like this that add more nourishing energy to our psyche.  Beginning with a quote by Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give,”  author Katy McColl discusses some of the fruitful benefits of giving for the giver, as she offers plenty of ideas on simple acts that any of us can implement to give a boost to our lives. 
My children seem to come up with similar simple wisdom to Churchill.   My son, Kipp, observed recently, “Do you know that there are billions of people in the world, Mom?  Why is it with billions of people in the world and so much time in our lives, that we let little things in little moments by just a few people cause us so much grief?” 
Good question and as I lost my temper this week and have been moody on more than one occasion, I heard his question ringing in my ear.  Could I not instead remember that my little moment might be better filled with patience and a simple act of kindness like showing some grace while seeking the wisdom of God in order to dish out nourishment rather than pollutant?  Oh how humbling youthful wisdom can be.  I thank God for using what He brings into my life from many different sources, articles in magazines and thoughts of children, to show me how I can better serve and be served with a different outlook, one that seeks to let go of angst while seeking ways to be kind.
Kindness is a basic Biblical principle that we sometime take for granted.  There are some 44 occurrences  of the word kindness in the Bible.  Add in the term kind, and the number increases to well into the hundreds.  The concept, though, reaches far beyond the use of these two words, because kindness is certainly a general by-product of love, and clearly with God being love, we know that kindness too is a Christ-like characteristic we should emulate.  Jesus tells us Himself to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39).  The kind of love I hope to receive from my neighbor starts with kindness.  Philippians 2:3  says, “...with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.”  The word kind, kindness, and love are not mentioned, but are certainly implicit.  It doesn’t stop there.  Hebrews 10:24 says, “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,”  indicating not only should we be kind and loving, but we should encourage others to do the same, which Katy McColl has done with her article and my son, Kipp with his words of wisdom.  
Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.  Most of us consider ourselves generally kind, but the busyness of life tends to crowd out the attention we might give to being so.  Doing what we have got to do or responding to our emotional buttons being pushed takes the lead more often than not.  Adding simple acts of kindness to our life diet can help shed the weight of pesky people and problems, and that is weight we can all stand to lose.  Acts of kindness are like helium as well, not only lightening life’s weight, but also lightening our attitude, helping it to rise.  Katy’s article provides some fresh ideas.  However, becoming more attuned to oneself and one’s environment provides plenty of food for thought.  Respond in a friendly manner when someone is brusque.   Invite someone who lives alone over to dinner.  Hold your tongue when someone you love makes a poor decision.  Focused attention on adding daily acts of kindness then has positive benefits in all areas of life, spiritually as we follow Christ, emotionally as we lighten burdens and lift attitudes, mentally as we become more alert to ourselves and our world, and physically as we reduce stress.  These are all things worthy of delight.
Please share your ideas for simple acts of kindness.

Katy's article

2 comments:

  1. Wow, Maria, very challenging! "Oh how humbling youthful wisdom can be." NO KIDDING!! Thanks for sharing this and for linking up today!

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