Fruit of Kindness – Wed – 21-06-16



Proverbs 12:25 says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down.”(NIV) Anxiety is a real problem. According to some research published in 1996, anxiety disorders will affected almost 27 million people in the United States at some point during their lifetime. It is probably more post COVID! It certainly seems that anxiety levels went up during the pandemic! Also, the economic impact of anxiety in 1990 was $46.6 billion, three quarters of it in lost productivity.* Being anxious is not a pleasant experience!

So, what’s the answer? I find it interesting that the verse in Proverbs say anxious people need a kind word. Listen to the entire verse: “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”(NIV)

Do you recognize the implication of this? If we want to reduce  the stress and anxiety in our lives, we need to seek out kind words. You’re not likely to find them in the media. Also, if we want to help others with their stress and anxiety, we need to be the source of kind words. Can you imagine the impact, if kind words spread virally from person to person? We’d all be happier! It would probably not take away all anxiety disorders, but I think they’d be reduced.

Remember, kind words are not sharp, insulting or irritating. They are generous, big-hearted and flow over people like smooth honey, full of sweetness. May your words be kind today!


*DuPont RL, Rice DP, Miller LS, Shiraki SS, Rowland CR, Harwood HJ, “Economic costs of anxiety disorders,” 1996, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9160618/

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Fruit of Kindness – Tue – 21-06-15



Babies are so cute! Can’t you just picture one gurgling, cooing and smiling at you? They usually babble before they learn real words. Often their first word is either mama or dada. Of course, it is not long before they learn the words mine and no! Eventually they are putting together sentences. It seems like one sentence every child learns early is this: “That’s not fair!”

We all have a sense of fairness. We want to be treated fairly by others. If someone wrongs us, we want them to pay. We often try to get even ourselves. That’s what makes 1 Thessalonians 5:15 such a challenge. It says, “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.”(NIV)

Kindness is the opposite of revenge. It goes above and beyond fair. We are supposed to be kind to everyone, not just fellow followers of Jesus.

Wait, I know – some of you may think there is a loop hole here. The passage says “try to be kind.” But the word try can be translated “seek.” It is not describing a half-hearted attempt, but a strong pursuit. Kindness isn’t easy, especially when you have been wronged. That’s why we need to always seek to be kind. That’s also why we need God’s Spirit changing our hearts to produce kindness in us!


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Fruit of Kindness – Mon – 21-06-14



When was the last time you described food or drink as kind? Probably never. I’ve never heard people say, “Man, that pizza was kind.” Or say, “That is a kind cup of coffee.” But Jesus used the word once, to describe wine. Jesus said this in Luke 5:39, “no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is better.’ ”(NIV) The word Jesus used for “better” is the word kind. Aged wine is kinder than new wine. Jesus was describing the difference in taste. In other words, aged wine is smoother, not sharp or biting as new wine.

Another way to see a contrast with kindness is to think about the Trump presidency. President Trump was not known for making kind tweets on Twitter! He could be biting and acerbic. He loved to insult those who disagreed with him. Likewise, the media was not kind to President Trump. Neither were the Democrats or Never-Trump Republicans. Politics is just not kind.

You see, kindness is mild. It is magnanimous. It is generous. God’s Spirit seeks to change us so that we don’t “rub people the wrong way.” Rather, we treat people far better than they deserve. We overlook insults that come our way and respond with an open heart.

Today, set aside any biting sarcasm, sharp anger and insults and let God’s Spirit make you kind to others.


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Fruit of Kindness – Sun – 21-06-13



Alison is a seven-year-old girl living in York in the United Kingdom. Alison wanted a popular toy called Squishmallow. (It is a stuffed toy rabbit.) So, Alison saved up her money. She finally had enough, so her mom took her to the Aldi store to buy one. However, the store had sold out of the toy. This brought tears of disappointment to Alison.  The store manager then phoned several other stores, but could not locate a toy. So, he offered to bring in the toy he had purchased for his baby. Alison and her mom returned to the store on another day to purchase the toy. But the store manager refused to accept payment. Alison received the toy and named it Jamie, after the store manager.* This story shows  an act of kindness. 

We are focusing this week on kindness, one of the fruit of the Spirit. It is usually easy to be kind to innocent children like Alison. It is harder to be kind to selfish or evil people. But that is what God does. Luke 6:35 tells us that God “is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”(NIV) God’s example of kindness is also the reason we are told to love our enemies. Doing good to those who don’t deserve it is how we demonstrate that we are the children of God. Our challenge today is to be kind to someone who doesn’t deserve it.


*Megan Shaw and Bradley Jolly, “Aldi worker’s amazing kindness after little girl, 7, saw her toy was out of stock,” Daily Express, April 6, 2021, https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1419435/Aldi-supermarkets-Squishmallow-rabbit-toy-little-girl-tears-York-Easter

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Fruit of Patience – Sat – 21-06-12



We have become an instant-loving society. It began many years ago, when the telephone made real-time, two-way communication possible. Then the mobile phone meant we could have the phone with us everywhere.

In the area of food, it probably began with sliced bread. Then vending machines and fast food restaurants sprang up to serve food in a few minutes. Add to that instant mashed potatoes, instant pudding, instant coffee and all the other instant foods. Then of course, there’s the microwave – a few seconds to make popcorn or heat a bit of food.

With all the “instant” things in our lives, it is a wonder we have any patience at all. But one place we have never developed an instant version is agriculture. We still have to plant seeds and wait for them to sprout and grow. It can be weeks or even months before a harvest can be gathered. You have to have patience to grow crops.

You also have to have patience to allow the Lord to complete his work. James 5:7-8 says, “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”(NIV) So, may you be patient with others as you wait patiently for God to complete his work!


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Fruit of Patience – Fri – 21-06-11



I have always enjoyed sports. In high school, I went out for the basketball team and made it. Although I was the tallest boy in my class, I was still shorter than the tallest youth in the schools we played. I think that’s why the coach put another tall boy and I on special training. The team would warm up with free shooting, meaning you took a ball and practiced your shot from the area of the floor you usually played. But not Steve and I. Coach made us throw a heavy medicine ball back and forth, not just at chest level, but over our heads. He also made us practice shooting near the basket by putting the ball as high over our head as possible and only using our wrists to power it toward the rim. I would have enjoyed the free shoot more! But sometimes, you have to treat people differently based on their needs.

That is what Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to do in 1 Thessalonians 5:14. They had people who needed different things. Some were not willing to work. Others were timid. Others lacked strength. So he said, “warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”(NIV)

Did you notice that even though people needed different things, everyone was to receive patience? Make it your challenge today to show patience to every person regardless of the situation.


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Fruit of Patience – Thu – 21-06-10



In early May, a woman hiking with friends in the Clifty Wilderness area of eastern Kentucky injured her leg and could not walk. The Wolfe County Search and Rescue team was dispatched to carry her out. She was several miles off the trail. They arrived and gave first aid. Then they placed her on a rescue stretcher. They carried her several miles over rugged terrain. At one point they waded a mile down a creek. It took nearly 33 hours for the rescue team to bring her to safety.*

Wow! Talk about bearing a load. Can you imagine being one of a few people carrying another up and down steep hills and through the water and rocks of a stream bed for over a day? That was hard work! You and I would be exhausted!

I want you to keep that picture in mind when you hear Ephesians 4:2, which says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”(NIV)

In this verse, being patient is described as “bearing with one another.” The same word can be translated “put up with one another” or “endure one another.” It is the picture of that rescue squad carrying the injured woman. Patience is sometimes very hard work. We may have to put up with irritating people. We may feel exhausted with the effort. But God’s Spirit gives us the patience to endure.


*TJ Caudill, “One for the record books: Wolfe County Search and Rescue team rescues hiker,” WYMT.com, May. 3, 2021, https://www.wymt.com/2021/05/03/one-for-the-record-books-wolfe-county-search-and-rescue-team-rescues-hiker/

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Fruit of Patience – Wed – 21-06-09



Have you listened to a popular music countdown show? Many are a weekly show that play the top 40 or so songs in reverse order. The introduction of the song usually tells you how long it has been at the current position and whether it has moved up or down in the rankings. Sometimes, the shows will change the format for the top rankings in the past year. Of course, in today’s internet culture, live radio shows are less popular. Now people just publish a web page or a play list.

Recently Billboard.com published a list of the top love songs of all time. The number one song, according to them, is Endless Love by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.* It uses phrases like “two hearts beating as one” and “you mean the world to me.” Of course, it is set to some great music and performed by exceptional vocalists. But the song focuses on the emotions of two people in love. I don’t think it is the greatest description of love. For that, I’d recommend 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. This passage is a favorite at weddings!

So why are we talking about love when our focus this week is on patience? Because the first description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is this: “Love is patient.” That makes sense! Scripture tells us that God is love and that God is patient, not wanting any to perish. May God give you patience today!


*Fred Bronson, “Top 50 Love Songs of All Time,” Billboard.com, February 4, 2021, https://www.billboard.com/articles/list/6792625/top-50-love-songs-of-all-time

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Fruit of Patience – Tue – 21-06-08



Have you heard the description of violent anger as “flying off the handle”? I’m not sure who first coined the phrase, but it’s the picture of a wooden-handled hammer with a loose head. When the hammer is swung to drive a nail, the head flies off and causes damage to people or things. What an accurate picture of someone who expresses anger inappropriately!

I know I have “flown off the handle” before. My brothers and sister can tell stories about when I was a teenager. I destroyed a few things in my anger. But let’s not go into that here!

Flying off the handle is the exact opposite of patience. In Psalm 103:8, the Lord is described as slow to anger. In fact, listen to 1 Timothy 1:16 describe the patience of Jesus, “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”(ESV)

In fact, some older translations use the word longsuffering instead of patience. I had a friend years ago who used to say that most people think of the word longsuffering  as longsuffering. When they should understand the emphasis as longsuffering. That is the essence of patience – to put up with something or someone for a long time. Aren’t you glad Jesus’ patience is perfect and long?


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