Hi everyone, Rob here.
Last night while I was at a meeting my 9 year old son helped his sister get ready for bed and then greeted guests as they came to our place for home group. Earlier in the evening he’d asked me how my day was. These were moments that made me proud to be his father. When you see your sons character develop to the point where he’s thinking of others, being kind and choosing to serve, even if its just for one day, you’re thankful.
Kindness is really important to our well being. Mum is at peace in her hospital room and a big part of that is because the nurses and other staff are unfailingly kind and gracious to her. Dad needed a bit of help with mum yesterday and strangers offered their service to him. Think about how much better your day feels when workmates, shop staff and fellow drivers are kind and respectful as opposed to abrupt and rude or even aloof? Our heart experiences warmth and peace. It contributes to our wholeheartedness.
It then makes sense that we would want to be kind and gracious people ourselves. And we are, most of the time aren’t we? It’s just that when we’re tired, stressed, too busy, annoyed or angry we somehow lose the capacity for grace. Why is that? It’s because we have put ourselves at the centre of the story. Life has stopped working well for us and we look to our own resources to solve the problem. At least, this is how it works for me. The key for me is to recognise when it’s happening, name it and make a different choice.
Dad and I were playing golf the other day and I wasn’t playing well. After several holes I was grumpy and irrationally angry. It’s an old pattern and I eventually recognised it for what it was; I had run out of resources because I was trying hard to be all things to all people. I needed to seek God, surrender to him, give my weakness to him and receive his strength, his peace and his unconditional love. I needed to pause and recognise that the travel, the busyness and the emotional turbulence of the last few weeks had worn me down and refreshment was needed. God has drip fed me that refreshment with a day at the beach with friends and family on a public holiday the final instalment. I can feel myself looking outward again as I rediscover grace and the kindness of God.
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit as well as a discipline to practice. It makes sense then that to exude kindness we need to be connected to the Spirit of God and led by the Spirit as we live our lives. Sometimes we forget to do that. Other times we think we’re doing that but we’re actually pretending to. Other times we’re in the flow and for a time we are saints and we don’t even know it. It’s all part of the dying and rising with Christ that we need to do all the time. As we seek Christ this week may we put on his kindness, reflect his love and grace as we die to sin and self and come alive to the love of Jesus.