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Christian Living kindness

The Emotional Gas Gauge

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)

The blogsmith Jeffrey H. King recently wrote about the need for doing random acts of kindness in his post, Quote for 12/13/2020.

However, at least for him, it sounds more “plan”dom—as he watches for opportunities to say kind words to strangers who cross his path.

The efficient waitress, or the couple out in public with a well-behaved toddler (I know, it’s like seeing a unicorn)😉 are perfect candidates for what I shall henceforth refer to as that, “Mister King Thing.”

After all, says Jeffrey, “There’s no way to know how close someone is to the end of their rope.”

I often find myself writing comments on Jeffrey’s blog that are long enough to be posts in themselves. Sorry, brother. It’s a wonder you don’t edit my philosophical ramblings for length and clarity!

The morning of 12/13/20 was no exception, as, when I read the quote above, I immediately envisioned how convenient it would be if everyone had an emotional “gas gauge” pasted on their forehead. This would be super helpful for knowing who needs a kind word and who doesn’t.

However, Jeffrey and I both agreed–in our back and forth comments–that since the EGG (emotional gas gauge) hasn’t been invented yet, it’s really anyone’s guess how close someone is to running on fumes. Plus, who doesn’t appreciate a sincere compliment–even from a stranger?

Therefore, the “Mister King Thing” is ALWAYS the best practice.

Kindness Matters!


Here are a few of my favorite scriptures about the value of kindness:

“A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.” Proverbs 11:17 (NIV)

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NIV)

Do you have a favorite scripture about the importance of being kind, or maybe a story about how you’ve personally seen the power of kindness at work? Please share!

Categories
Christian Blog vulnerability

Wounded Healer

“Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief.” –(Proverbs 14:13)

We have a picture of a clown in our home that our middle son painted when he was eight years old. It’s a simple watercolor portrait–traced in pencil and then painted with quite a bit of skill for a 2nd grader. Some of the color on the clown’s green eyes ran a bit before it dried, but it only adds to the appeal.

Anyway, I often take my Sunday afternoon nap on the futon that sits against the wall underneath the clown. Last week, I woke up looking at the painting, and noticed something I hadn’t before: the clown is smiling AND crying at the same time. That’s life, I thought–especially right now.

These days, so many moments are both happy and sad at the same time.

‘Tis a bitter sweet existence.

Clarification: I understand that questions of faith have yes or no answers; there’s no maybe in God’s kingdom. But have you ever found yourself saying, along with the father of the boy only Jesus could heal, “I do believe, Lord; help my unbelief?”–(Mark 9:22-25)

Yes, sometimes life in Christ isn’t all fresh water or salt, it can be a brackish in between. But that’s OK, because, according to the apostle Paul, crippled Christians make the best swimmers.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (emphasis mine)

Here’s to the wounded healers!

And Jesus is the biggest one of all. Hebrews chapter four tells us that Christ is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, because, just like us, he experienced the ups and downs of human existence–yet was without sin. That’s why we can come to Him with confidence, knowing He will help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Like the old King James translation says, “Thou hast known my soul in adversities.” – Psalm 31:7b

There’s another place where David says God actually comes closer when times are tough and our hearts are broken. He does this in order to lift our crushed spirits (Psalm 34:18).

After all these years (our son turns 25 today!) it’s time to give the clown painting a name. From now on I’m calling him Wounded Willy. He’s happy (like a clown should be) but he’s also sad (because life ain’t always the circus).

Do you have any life scars? Maybe God could use you as a wounded healer to extend His grace to others.

Yes, you!

Categories
Christian Blog honesty

Just a Little Off Course

Photo by Kristopher Allison on Unsplash

I read a story recently about a plane that crashed into a mountain because the pilot, while on approach to an airport, unknowingly followed the wrong navigational beacon. The cockpit instruments told him his true position, but he kept flying off course for over a minute–until it was too late. Post crash analysis confirmed: the pilot had not noticed a one-degree-per-second turn to the right. The autopilot was dialed to the wrong navigational aid.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Proverbs 14:12

The story above brings to mind the error of the Pharisees and Sadducees in the New Testament. They took God’s law and added their own rules to it. And just like the story of the pilot, following the wrong navigational beacon led to disaster.

For a fresh look at how this is still happening today, please read, Christian-Social identity or Spiritual reality? by Perth Girl.

Now, to my own story of getting off course from Christ. For most of my adult life I’ve struggled with social anxiety; last year, after suffering two panic attacks in as many weeks, I sought relief through mindfulness meditation.

Sitting quietly, one chooses a focal point–like the breath–and keeps coming back to it when distracted. The idea is to let your thoughts (good or bad) float by like clouds while you observe with curiosity. The result is like pushing a pause button on life, and it really helped with my anxiety.

I downloaded a couple of meditation apps, read some great books by mindfulness experts, and participated in live-streamed offerings. But the more I delved into mindfulness, which is rooted in Buddhism, the more I realized the navigational beacon of my teachers was Buddha, not Jesus Christ.

It dawned on me, I was taking a one-degree-per-second turn away from the Living God, inadvertently setting my auto pilot on the wrong flight path. Thankfully, I listened to the Holy Spirit and got back on course with Christ.

Jesus answered, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

I still meditate occasionally, but now I keep in mind where the true airport is!

Photo by Patricia McCarty on Pexels.com

For a different look at this same subject, please see my post, What Time is It?