Authentic Relationships: Being Kind, Compassionate and Sharing with One Another

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Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

                                                                        Mother Teresa

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(This blog in PowerPoint format attached)

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Sharing God’s Kindness

Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 NET)

And do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for God is pleased with such sacrifices. (Hebrews 13:16 NET)

Kindness in a Selfish Age

...and because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:12 NET)

In a culture where most people are looking out for number one, random acts of kindness stand out as brightly as a lighthouse on a moonless night. “What is in it for you?” they ask with the look of mistrust in their eyes when you offer to help for no reason. Kind actions, though often quick and easy to accomplish, can echo as eternally as kind words. When you walk through your day focused on others, you will be amazed at the opportunities you might otherwise miss. (2)

For example:

  • Give directions to somebody who looks lost
  • Help a neighbor working in the yard
  • Offer to watch a friend’s child while they are in the hospital
  • Stay and help clean up after a home group meeting
  • Let someone step in front of you in line
  • Deliver a cold drink to a power company lineman
  • Thank a military person for defending our country

Breaking the Cycle

Showing kindness (1) and compassion, even when offended, breaks the grudge cycle!

You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk. (Ephesians 4:31 NET)

See that no one pays back evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. (1 Thessalonians. 5:15 NET)

So then, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother and then come and present your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24 NET)

Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God's wrath, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21 NET)

But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don't they? And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don't they? So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:44-6:1 NET)

Living in Generosity

We must view our possessions in a new light. Nothing we own is really ours. Everything belongs to God. Trusting God to supply our needs frees us to share with others we encounter along the way. Institutional ways of helping those in need always break down. Personally helping those God has placed in our path does not. As we discover how generous God is with us, we will find the joy of being generous to others. (2)

But whoever has the world's possessions and sees his fellow Christian in need and shuts off his compassion against him, how can the love of God reside in such a person? (1 John 3:17 NET)

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm and eat well," but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is it? (James 2:15-16 NET)

Do not withhold good from those who need it, when you have the ability to help. Do not say to your neighbor, "Go! Return tomorrow and I will give it," when you have it with you at the time. (Proverbs 3:27-28 NET)

Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27 NET)

You did it for Me

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'  And the king will answer them, 'I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.' (Matthew 25:35-40 NET)

According to Jesus our acts of kindness and sharing reveal the depth of our relationship with Him. Those growing to know Jesus will find themselves giving to others the same way he gives to them. Our life in Jesus is demonstrated by our compassion for people in need. That is, Jesus’ compassion is contagious! Once we have experienced it from His hand, there is no way we can hold it to ourselves. (2)

And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we do for you, so that your hearts are strengthened in holiness to be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. (1 Thessalonians. 3:12-13 NET)

Jesus in Disguise by Brandon Heath

Ever get something in your head
It's nothing you've heard, or something you've read
Ever had a cut, but you never saw a blade
Brought to your knees, but you never prayed
 
(Chorus)
Jesus in disguise
Jehovah passing by
The burden of a tear
Hanging in your eye
Jesus in disguise
A scar across the sky
You were looking for a king
You would never recognize
Jesus in disguise
 
Ever feel like you've been somewhere before
You hold the key, you know which door
Speak the word your lips have never known
Because your heart told you so
 
Chorus
 
So open my eyes, wide as I can
Blind as I am, blind as I am
So open my eyes as wide as I can
Blind as I am, blind as I am
 
Jesus in disguise
Jesus in disguise

 

To be continued...

Links to this series:

Authentic Relationships: Introduction

Authentic Relationships: Loving One Another

Authentic Relationships: Forgiving, Accepting and Bearing with One Another

Authentic Relationships: Being Devoted to Another and Honoring Another Above Ourselves

Authentic Relationships: Greeting and Being Hospitable to One Another

 

(1) Left click on underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.

(2) This blog adapted from Authentic Relationships: Discover the lost art of "One Anothering" by Wayne Jacobsen (http://www.lifestream.organd Clay Jacobsen. ISBN-13: 978-0801064517

(3) Jesus in Disguise from the Album Blue Mountain by Brandon Heath. 


 

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