Monday, April 14, 2008

Showing God's Kindness and Mercy

My baby granddaughter Kaya turned two today, and here she is kissing my mom, her great-grandma Joan. Happy birthday, Kaya! Her name came from a Hopi Indian word meaning "wise child", and I think she's lived up to the name. Of course, since I'm her nana, I might be a tad bit biased.

It's time to start discussion of chapter twenty-six, "Showing God's Kindness and Mercy". "See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always aim to show kindness and seek to do good to one another and everybody," says Paul in I Thessalonians 5:15. Joel says, "When you are placed in awkward situations where somebody doesn't treat you right, you have the golden opportunity to help heal a wounded heart....hurting people often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome. The last thing they need is for you to make matter worse by responding angrily." Amen! Help me to remember that, Lord. Help me to be kind to people no matter how they treat me. Help me approach others with the innocence of Kaya, who is non-judgmental, loving, and accepting of everyone.


Patty said...

"Love overlooks a person's faults." (I Peter 4:8)

Patty said...

"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" - Jesus of Nazareth, as recorded in Matthew 5:44 (NIV translation). This chapter is about showing God's kindness and mercy no matter what anyone else says and does. We don't know what someone else may have gone through that brought them to the point of anger or whatever negative emotion being displayed.

This has been a wonderful book giving awesome tools for life like enlarging our vision, having healthy self-esteem, realizing the power of our thoughts and words, letting go of our pasts, finding strength in difficult times, giving, and choosing to be happy. Since studying this book my problems haven't disappeared, and I am not constantly living a life of pure happiness. Still the benefits have been phenomenal. There is a famous Zen Proverb that says, "Before enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water. After enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water." Even though my life hasn't changed dramatically, I have a realization and an awareness where everything appears to have changed. My perception of the world has changed. I have a different attitude toward everything I do. Every day Frank goes to the office to work or travels somewhere to train insurance agents, and I go to school to our outer world hasn't really changed, but the way I process things has changed. I feel a profound sense of inner peace. Even though we continue chopping wood and carrying water so to speak, we do it with greater satisfaction because we know that we are living in God's favor.

This chapter on giving and showing kindness helps us learn to walk in love and forgiveness. This must please God because we are displaying the characteristics of His son.

Patty said...

I wrote this note on facebook in February, but I got to thinking it is relevant for this chapter so I will share it here.

"All we need to do is be a little kinder toward each other," said Aldous Huxley. That attitude could end wars and give us peace. I'm looking for that attribute in the candidates for President. St. Francis of Assisi said, "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I might not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal light." May we all be instruments of peace in 2008, and may we end war.

Patty said...

I think this is very close to the bard's birthday, and I found this wonderful quote on mercy from THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.

"The quality of mercy is not strained; it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath: it is twice blest,--
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes: 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes the throned monarch better than his crown: His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, the attribute to awe and majesty, wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; but mercy is above this sceptred sway,--it is enthroned in the hearts of kings, it is an attribute of God himself; And earthly power then show likest God's when mercy seasons justice."

~William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Wayne Dyer is the WISDOM OF THE AGES writes, "Living with a spirit of mercy and putting it to use each day is the way to tame our base and primitive instincts while nurturing love and compassion....With mercy in your heart you will find yourself much less distracted and disheartened by the evil behaviors that you see and read about almost every day. You will be able to send the offenders love and not become obsessed with anger, hatred, and eventually the desire for revenge." Shakespeare says that mercy is an attribute of God that "droppeth as the gentle rain from Heaven, upon the place beneath." He also says it "becomes the throned monarch better than his crown." When we show compassion toward offenders, we arrive at the point where "earthly power doth then show liketh God's." Mercy is "mightiest in the mightiest." The more powerful we are as a person, the more power we can display through our mercy. May we show God's kindness and mercy even when it is extremely difficult to do so.

Mutterguse said...

Patty, your comment sure hit home today. You said: "This chapter on giving and showing kindness helps us learn to walk in love and forgiveness. This must please God because we are displaying the characteristics of His son."
About 3 weeks ago we got a call from our son Grant. He asked if there was any way we could drive his car up to him in Fairbanks! We were flabbergasted, and with two jobs, two schedules, etc, it seemed like a monumental undertaking, but it would be a gift to him to have his car there for his use, till he deploys in September. We set about trying to get the schedules to mesh, and God really worked a miracle in both, as we got the time of 4-18 to 4-26 off! I got together some of Grant's household items that he needed, and we set off about 5:30 the 18th in perfect traveling weather. That lasted till Livingston MT. Then: we had snow, ice, slush, nasty roads, low visibility and COLDER temps that we are used to clear up beyond Dawson Creek, BC CAN. It took us six days to reach Fairbanks, when we had planned on five, Grant had to work so it all worked out, but we felt like we were going slowly. We had a lot of time to listen to books on CD, talk, and just enjoy the beauty of the land. At times, esp in the rotten weather conditions I wondered how we had gotten into such a situation. We did it because we were able to give him the gift of his car, and also give ourselves time to talk, and share the travel. We just felt that we were doing exactly what we were supposed to be doing, so it was easy to be calm, and get on with the project. We feel that God allowed us to have this trip and the time with Grant in a very special way. Once in a while, I think time is one of the biggest things we can give to one another, and that is in jeopardy in our busy lives. We met so many nice people along the way, and the few crusty ones were so far and few between it was easy to focus on the nice ones! There are so many needy people. Joel's dad helping that young man with money (in one of the Chapters) to get home on reminds me of several of the kids Grant works with. They are so young, and some of them I just want to hug, and say "It will be alright, hang in there." One in particular calls me every now and then, just to talk, and HE calls me mom! Taking the time to just listen is a gift I can give to him. We planned to listen to Joel's new book on the way up, but put it in a safe place that is really safe! We listened instead to "Waking the Dead" by John Aldridge. My word. That kept us both in our seats, no matter who was driving! We are very glad to be home after a completely weird set of plane rides, and ready to get back to work. I hope that you are blessed today, that God is moving all the rocks, bumps, lumps, etc from your road, and guiding you along it.

Mutterguse said... is the website for John Aldridge.

Patty said...

Wow, what a trip, Rozan! Thanks for sharing your journey and the insights you gained. I missed hearing from you. I checked out that website on the "ransomed heart" and enjoyed it. Welcome back! It always feels good to be home, doesn't it? My, the things we do for our kids....I have to admit, I try to move heaven and earth for mine too. When I think about what we are willing to do as earthly parents, I feel so happy and grateful to be a child of our heavenly Father who is willing to do even more for us.....oh, so much more. Thank You, Lord.