Love is Kind

Love is Kind

“When asked to describe the width of his love, he stretched one hand to the right and the other to the left and had them nailed in that position so you would know he died loving you.” – Max Lucado

What comes to mind when you hear the word kind? Did you visualize a picture of a person serving the homeless a meal at a soup kitchen on a cold winter day? Or a mother hugging her toddler and dusting off his scraped knee after he took a tumble on his bicycle?

Perhaps you are envisioning a modern day good Samaritan who recently stopped on the freeway to help you fix a flat tire. I had an opportunity once of briefly watching a gentleman assist an elderly lady find her car in a parking lot.

She had gone shopping and bless her heart, completely forgotten where she had parked her car. While others watched her wandering around the parking lot, this man was willing to stop what he was doing and help her find the vehicle. What an act of kindness!

Kindness is being willing to assist others without any thought to my own personal benefit or reward.

It is easy to help someone who has the potential of repaying you back for your services. Or someone that would give your ego a major boost just by knowing you had done them a favor.

Consider the unlikely possibility of driving down the road and discovering that Catherine Zeta-Jones had a flat tire and was stranded on the side of the road. Quite possibly you would not be able to get near her car because of the hoards of people desperate for a glimpse, an autograph, or a tiny piece of her shredded tire as memorabilia. Most likely not one of those people would have stopped out of true kindness—many stopped because of what they would have gotten out of it.

Now as extreme as this analogy is, think about the last time you helped someone without any ulterior motives. Ask yourself deep down in your heart about what makes you tick. Why do you do the things you do?

Look for someone today whom you can help unconditionally and without any thought of gain. Maybe go visit an elderly person in a nursing home. Volunteer to feed the homeless at a soup kitchen. Make a donation to a nonprofit ministry without asking for a tax writeoff.

What better way can you show genuine kindness than by serving His children in ways that they could never repay you?

This article is part of the “Love Lessons from 1 Corinthians 13” series. You can view the introduction to the series here.

Love is Patient

Patient

Are you willing to be patient while the Lord completes His perfect will and plan in your life? Sadly, whenever we attempt to help God work, compromise always results.

God promised Abraham that he would have a son by his wife Sarah, but Abraham became impatient and had a son with Sarah’s handmaid Hagar. Because of his lack of patience, he committed immorality, and a seed of family disunity took root that would grow for generations.

Are you willing to suffer long in situations instead of trying to use your own methods to remove the source of your trial? The apostle Paul had an ailment that he called his “. . thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet.” Paul asked the Lord three times to remove the pain, yet ultimately he was willing to be content with the plan that the Lord had ordained for him. Trusting God requires an elimination of my Plan B strategy.

Paul continued to write about what he learned through his suffering. “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (1 Corinthians 12:9). If Paul had used his own methods to deal with his problems, we would likely be missing several books of the Bible today.

For someone who suffered from Paul’s deteriorating illness, the logical response would be to stay at home and rest. Instead, Paul allowed the Lord to turn his weakness into God’s power that the world might be reached with the gospel.

Only when you give a problem and your attempted solution to the Lord, will God be able to work in your life. Jim Elliot, a missionary who gave his life while trying to reach the Auca Indians in Ecuador, summed up this concept perfectly. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose,” wrote Elliot.

Life is full of situations where we are forced to develop patience. Most of them are not fun. Trust God with the big and little things of life. Learn to be patient.

This article is part of the “Love Lessons from 1 Corinthians 13” series. You can view the introduction to the series here.

Love Lessons from 1 Corinthians 13

Love

We live in a world today that constantly bombards us with the concept of love. Our society promotes love and affection as the very basis for our culture.

Song lyrics fill our thoughts with ballads of unrequited affection, novels draw pictures of Prince Charming, and movies give us a false illusion that Hollywood endings should be expected, but in the odd case that something goes awry, your tale will still resemble a feel-good Lifetime movie at journey’s end.

If two people “love” each other, it must be right for them to get married regardless of their gender—or so our society says. It is okay to have sex before marriage because the couple “loves” each other.

Billboards, television commercials, music, movies, and books all help to promote this humanistic interpretation of love. The world has cheapened God’s most powerful concept. Because of this false worldview, our modern world today has completely lost the concept of true love as God intended it.

What is true love? Can love mean more than Cupid shooting his arrow into an indefensible victim? Once we can truly understand love as God intended, we will begin to show genuine love in not only our earthly relationships, but our most important relationship of all, our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

I jotted a few thoughts down a couple of years ago while studying 1 Corinthians 13 and will be sharing them, along with some newer content, over the next several weeks at Heiress in Training. I hope you are encouraged by this series and as always, I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts.

Series Outline

Introduction
Love is Patient
Love is Kind
Love is not Envious
Love does not Brag
Love is not Arrogant

Holding the Keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Photo by hoyasmeg

Interdenominational strife is nothing new and hardly limited to the church in America. For centuries Christians have feuded and bickered among themselves, sadly even to the point that sometimes an outside group has to help keep the peace.

My sister was doing some research on Israel and shared with me this fascinating story about the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It has been excerpted from the book Jerusalem (Holy Cities) by Saviour Pirotta.

“The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is governed by many different Christian denominations. Sometimes they cannot agree with one another over the care of the church, so important restoration work has been left undone and the buildings need a lot of repair.

There is an old wooden ladder that rests against one of the walls of the church. It has been there for years because no one can agree on who owns it!

People sometimes worship outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Inside, Christians worship and perform rituals at special times. This allows each denomination to have its fair share of worship in the church. The keys to the front door of this church are held by two Muslim families who act as guards and keep the peace among the different churches! They have done this for hundreds of years.”

Clearly, the believers in Jerusalem have forgotten the words of their own King David. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)

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