You might be thinking… wait, didn’t we just read part 2 last week? Well, yes. Due to some scheduling conflicts, I get to post two weeks in a row. So, here we go.
Did you know most writers are introverts? Some are ambiverts, an equal mix of extrovert and introvert. Fewer still are actual extroverts.
I’m going to get a little personal with today’s post, because the event is still strong in my mind. The above is relative because…
This is me (explanation taken from https://www.16personalities.com/infj-personality):
The INFJ personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. As Diplomats, they have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is the accompanying Judging (J) trait – INFJs are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.
This week a I took a SCARY, concrete step. Our church had worship evals. Basically, they are looking for more people willing to lead, either the song or as a backup singer (besides the choir, which is where I already participate). In order to take part in the evals, everyone had to sing one of three songs (our choice) SOLO.
I was scared spitless. (Is that a southern euphemism? Let’s boil it down and say that I was VERY scared.) But I felt like God wanted me to step out. DREAM BIG (you can find that post here). So I did.
It was a disaster. I embarrassed myself beyond anything I’ve ever done. (I think.) I missed the start of the song. My voice was wobbly. I was supposed to direct the band (yes, there were at least eight witnesses to my mortification), but I could barely focus on the words on the screen, much less remember where the song was supposed to go next.
But I did it. I stepped out. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I stepped on stage, and I sang. BADLY.
And then it was done. And they clapped. Even now it brings tears to my eyes. Because it was kind. I’d bombed it massively. But they clapped.
Then the worship pastor’s wife (she’s a part of the ministry, but not in charge) came and gave me a hug. I wanted to just escape. When I’m having a hard time, I revert to sarcasm. I told her, “I’m just gonna go have a good cry.” Of course, by that time, I was already in tears. She said all the right words about it being a safe place and how much they love me. I believed her, and it helped, but not enough to keep me from a pity-party.
Let’s change gears (enough wallowing for me).
I think our country, and more importantly our churches, have forgotten how to be kind. I’ve heard it said that Christians are the only group that shoots its own wounded (don’t know where I heard it and couldn’t find a reliable source for it). Of course, we know that’s not completely true, but we sure leave them to suffer alone. We forget that LOVE is kind. Jesus ALWAYS had compassion for the hurting and seeking. Why do we feel we need to “shoot” them instead of showing them love?
And not only our wounded, but the wounded of the world, too. We can’t expect them to live by our rules. But we do. Maybe we just want them to, and so when they don’t, we’re surprised.
Have you ever wondered how we appear to them? I think something like this cat — angry and unhappy. Touchy.
I’ve seen a number of “Christians” with this sourpuss face. It’s not endearing. It doesn’t reflect kindness.
So how do we change?
We accept that EVERYONE sins. I don’t like it. I don’t like it in others, and I especially don’t like it in myself.
We accept that Jesus died for ALL of us — Jews, Gentiles, saved, and unsaved. That includes actors/actresses in Hollywood, President Trump, LGBT supporters, Muslims… the list could and does go on and on.
We ask God to love people THROUGH us, because really on our own, we can’t. God is LOVE. Without Him our efforts are insufficient at best, hurtful and wounding at worst.
I realized this morning as I was thinking about this post that I haven’t included the verses, so here is the section. The whole chapter is good to memorize. I did in high school for a drama class monologue. :)
1 Cor. 13:4-7, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
And here’s a quote or two (because sometimes other people say it better than I can):
- Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile. — Mother Teresa
- No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. — Aesop
- Kindness is loving people more than they deserve. — Joseph Joubert
- A mistake made by many people with great convictions is that they will let nothing stand in the way of their views, not even kindness. — Bryant H. McGill
- Kindness makes a fellow feel good whether it’s being done to him or by him. — Frank A. Clark
(the above quotes found at brainyquotes.com)
My blessing for you today…
May your thoughts be kind, your words kinder, and your actions reflective of who Jesus is. I pray for supernatural kindness to be shown to you as you walk out your day, your week, your year. Even when evil comes at you, remember God’s love is expressed in kindness.