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"The greatest feats of love are performed by those who have had much practice in performing daily acts of kindness."
—Anonymous

27-Oct-17


The Golden Rule (Part Two)

Converted members of God's church have a blessing that absolutely no one else in the world has: Christians have a true understanding of living as God Himself lives. We have faith in God's Word to follow its direction in keeping God's law and growing in the fruit of God's Spirit. God has freed us from the clutches of Satan and his world so that we can live in imitation of His Son. Yet, in Galatians 5:13, Paul exhorts us that we "were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another" (English Standard Version).

We have been given a variety of different gifts and blessings, all of which God wants us to use in His service. In serving others, we must try to put ourselves in their shoes. We have to use our gifts and skills thoughtfully so that we truly aid them. We can help someone with his or her homework or take a neighbor shopping. Sometimes it can be as simple as helping an elderly person carry a piece of furniture or even a heavy bag of groceries. Twenty pounds might not seem like much to lift now, but when a person ages, it can seem as if it weighs a ton. Have empathy. Remember, one day we will be 80 years old too!

Yes, doing good deeds is essential, but by comparison, just being nice should be a breeze. In being kind, we must also learn to be patient. Impatience is a flaw in the character of most people that must be overcome, but learning patience is rarely easy. The New International Version translates the first part of I Corinthians 13:4 as, "Love is patient, love is kind . . . ." Patience is listed first in the attributes of Christian love, even preceding being kindness.

Why is this important? Learning to be patient with others is a struggle, but God is patient with our weaknesses. With Him as our example of perfect lovingkindness, we need to be patient with the weaknesses of others. Out of our patience will spring truly helpful kindness.

The God's Word translation of I Peter 4:10 reads, "Each of you as a good manager must use the gift that God has given you to serve others." Philippians 2:4 says that we should "look not only to [our] own interests, but also to the interests of others." Being kind, then, is our Christian duty. And as one man wrote of a life lesson his father imparted to him, "Kindness is the one thing you'll never have to take back."

It is so easy to get wrapped up in ourselves. We focus on our views on social media, our jobs, our family, our school, our sports team, our plans, etc. Years ago, I used to chat over the Internet with a friend about the Bible and news, among other things. We were both single, and we commiserated about wanting better jobs, being lonely, and similar kinds of subjects. These are the things people of our age were concerned about, but my friend thought outside of himself and even beyond our friendship. He set a great example of outgoing concern and kindness.

For instance, in his church there was an older lady whose husband had cancer. The husband was being treated at a hospital that was some distance away. My friend would drive a long distance to her house, and then drive her all the way to the hospital, and then drive her back home again. That is just how he was—kind and considerate.

Friends of mine, Lila and her husband Richard, were a wonderful couple. Shortly after I started attending church with them, they saw that I was lonely and offered to take me out for dinner. Both of them were generous, friendly, and kind. In fact, I found out that Lila's kindness and service were not recent developments: She had been voted Foster Mother of the Year in 1961!

Even after Richard died, Lila continued her frequent acts of kindness. In at least a few instances, Lila offered a room in her home to women who lived out of state but were dating men in our area. One couple is married today at least partly as a result of her kindness.

Once, an older woman who is quite shy visited from another state. While attending a Night to Be Much Observed in our area, a younger woman spent a considerable amount of time talking to her and making her feel comfortable in the new surroundings, helping to ease her into the larger gathering. At other times, the younger woman sent cards to encourage her, and sometimes she would just listen to what the older woman had to say. She was simply being nice.

We depend upon the friendships we have with each other. Showing kindness to one another within them will make them all the stronger. Kindness reduces friction; it is the oil that allows our friendships to run their best. Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 4:12, "Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him, and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."

Although not as important as spiritual blessings for kindness, physical benefits also result when we are kind. An article on the Huffington Post website by Dr. David Hamilton, "5 Beneficial Side Effects of Kindness," lists them:

  1. Kindness makes us happier. Being kind increases the levels of dopamine in our brains and gives us sort of a "Helper's High."

  2. Kindness gives us healthier hearts. When we are kind, chemical reactions work in our bodies to lower our blood pressure and protect our hearts.

  3. Kindness slows aging. When we are kind, our bodies produce hormones that work to eliminate some of the negative effects of poor lifestyle choices we have made.

  4. Kindness makes for better relationships. Simply put, we need to work together, and we work better and more effectively with people who are nice.

  5. Kindness is contagious. When we are nice to people, it inspires them to be nice to others.

As we saw in Part One, the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) is a great example of the Golden Rule. The Samaritan thought of the needs of his fellow man and expended effort to fill them. As He finished the parable, Jesus reflected on the Samaritan's sacrifice and told the lawyer—and us—if you want to be a good neighbor, "Go and do likewise."

- John Reiss


World News Highlights

Shocking Photo Shows Caribbean Sea Being 'Choked to Death by Human Waste'
The Telegraph   26-Oct-17

Churches Merge, Close: 'We No Longer Live in Christendom. We Really Have to Accept That It's a Thing of the Past'
The Baltimore Sun   10-Oct-17

It's Now Illegal to Spank Your Child in Sa
eNews Channel Africa   20-Oct-17

2017: the Biggest Year in Horror History
The New York Times   26-Oct-17

Saudi Arabia Just Announced Plans to Build a Mega City That Will Cost $500 Billion
Bloomberg   24-Oct-17

48-Hour Game Circulating on Facebook Encourages Children to Go Missing
The Independent   17-Oct-17

Saudi Arabia Becomes First Country to Grant Citizenship to a Robot
Arab News   26-Oct-17

Why Millennials Are Ditching Religion for Witchcraft and Astrology
Market Watch   22-Oct-17

Warning Over Iphone Apps That Can Silently Turn on Cameras at Any Time
The Telegraph   26-Oct-17

Drudge, Facebook, Nyt Readers Could Face Libel Suits for Sharing 'Fake News'
The Washington Examiner   18-Oct-17

This Company's Robots Are Making Everything—and Reshaping the World
Bloomberg   18-Oct-17

Romance Is Dead in Tv's Newest Dating Shows
eNews Channel Africa   17-Oct-17

Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner and Sicker In-Between
Bloomberg   23-Oct-17

Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?
The New York Times Magazine   11-Oct-17

Social Security Administration Spending Tops $1 Trillion for First Time
CNS News   26-Oct-17

Ad Feedback Gop Congress Presides Over Highest Spending Since Obama's Stimulus
CNS News   20-Oct-17

Vacationing in the United States? Be Warned, Some Countries Say
The New York Times   20-Oct-17

China Speeds Ahead of U.S. as Quantum Race Escalates, Worrying Scientists
McClatchy DC   23-Oct-17

'Czech Trump' Clinches Election Victory, Eurosceptics Boosted
Yahoo/AFP   21-Oct-17

Catalan Separatists Vow Disobedience as Spain Standoff Mounts
Yahoo/AFP   22-Oct-17

Keepers Warn of 'Bee-Mageddon' After France Authorises Controversial Insecticide
The Telegraph   20-Oct-17


Prayer Requests

New prayer request updates have been posted for the following people:
 

Delicious DeBlair
Peggy Dudley
Dan Elmore
Carol Fletcher
Mike Fuhrer
Marie McDermott
Tara Prescott
Tara Prescott
Musonda Sakala



From the Archives: Featured Sermon

Be Kindly Affectionate
by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins focuses upon the kind of love members of the body of Christ should have for one another. As spiritual siblings, we ought to manifest family affection, giving honor to one another, in humility esteeming and honoring our family members above ourselves. We need to value each other, to have the affection of Jesus Christ, and to regard the brethren with the same compassion He would have for them.


From the Archives: Featured Article

Service: A Key to Spiritual Success
by William Gray

Have we lost the fire for God and His way that we we once had? If we have, we need to reconsider our basic commitments, and one of those is service. William Gray shows just how vital a key to success service is in all aspects of our lives.


Featured Audio Schedule

Friday Night Bible Study
The next Bible Study will be Acts (Part 2), given by John W. Ritenbaugh on Friday 27-Oct-17. The Bible Study will be continuously available from 6:00 pm Friday until 12:00 pm Saturday (EST).


Daily Audio Programs
Hear previous sermons, sermonettes, and Feast of Tabernacles messages, Sunday through Friday. Available from the homepage.

Date Title
Sunday 29-Oct-17 Our Journey From Passover To Pentecost
Monday 30-Oct-17 Refuser of Festivities II
Tuesday 31-Oct-17 Itching Ears
Wednesday 01-Nov-17 What Is Christ's Hidden Treasure?
Thursday 02-Nov-17 The Longsuffering of Our Lord Is Salvation
Friday 03-Nov-17 What Would You Die For?

 


 
 

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Futher Reading

Related

The Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness

Start of this series

The Golden Rule (Part One)