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Who's Looking BACK at YOU

Posted by on in Weekly Encouragement Notes
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I continue in our series: What is the Fruit of the Spirit? We have covered the subjects of love, joy, peace, patience, over the last few weeks and today we look at kindness. This seems like a foreign subject these days. I have written many times about the hate that seems to be ruling the world right now, but my heart breaks at the sight of it getting worse day by day. 


The recent confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh has shown an ugliness that reaches into the depths of depravity like few have ever seen. This goes further than accusations or even opposition, this dives and not accidentally, but very much on purpose, right into the gutter. I try to veer from politics in my writings, but there are times it seems appropriate. This is one of those times.


I have quoted the song before, from Glen Campbell, Try a little kindness. It would seem that many have totally abandoned any thoughts or actions toward the idea of kindness. The vicious opposition toward Justice Kavanaugh and even more so, the hatred toward President Trump is something I have never seen. Surely, as an officer I saw mean people and over life have seen people be unkind to each other, but when hatred fuels that fire, it seems to be a fire that cannot be put out. An article came out last week about the hearings and confirmation vote. In this article a writer for a television show stated: “I am glad and proud that we were able to destroy Brett Kavanaugh’s life.” It hard to imagine that one could truly feel this way, that they are proud, consider it a good thing, to have harmed another person, but that appears to be the world in which we are living.


Do we all have to agree? Do we all have to like the same things? Of course not, but even with different tastes and likes, we can still be kind to one another. It is simply not that hard. Jesus said of our enemies, those who are truly against us and desire to harm us, He said “pray for them.” What? Pray for them? Why would I do that, to heck with them, I do not like them, they are terrible, awful, etc… However, what we must understand is that Jesus never made any suggestions. He is clearly stating that praying for others, if we desire to please Him, is not an option. 


In Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, he speaks of not finding joy in the demise of others, that we do not revel when others grovel. We see people cheer when others are defeated. It is one thing if your favorite team, fair and square, defeats another team and gets the victory, that is sports. However, should we find joy in seeing another person be destroyed? Justice, consequence, these are outcomes of actions, but even in those moments, those broken ones, those awful ones, they need our prayers. We lose sight of that when hate steers our vision.


Many have become blinded by hate and so much so that it has become nearly impossible to reach them. Who can? Only Jesus. We, as believers, we need to reaffirm our belief in prayer. We need to be reminded of the prayers that shook walls, the prayers that caused chains to fall off, the prayers that set captives free, and caused bodies and minds to be healed. It is not too late and God will hear, He will listen and He will answer. 


Kindness is an expression of what is contained in our hearts. Kindness is a product of understanding what love really is and how that produces joy which will bring peace which leads to patience which produces kindness. Bearing fruit, Jesus says “pleases the Father.” Do we ever really stop to think about that? Do we consider anything beyond “what about me? Inward vision is for reflection, but reflection should produce a desire to show something different. 


As Paul sat with the scales on his eyes after his “moment” on the road to Damascus he was not blind in the since that he could no longer see, but rather his sight was now inward focused. After a few days of this, he realized the change he needed had to start with him. Many are angry today over something. Some do not really know what it might be, but they are mad anyway. Some in the church are looking for this or that. Again, not really sure what it is, but keep looking, even if it means looking elsewhere. The true issue is that no one seems to want to look within. Inward is where real change takes place. 


It is very easy to blame someone else. It is very easy to state things and express discontent with this or that or even another, but the fact remains that the change being sought will never be found until one starts looking in the mirror. A popular song from the 80’s had some powerful and in fact, thought provoking words. The chorus said this:


I'm starting with the man in the mirror


I'm asking him to change his ways


And no message could have been any clearer


If you want to make the world a better place


Take a look at yourself, and then make a change 


Those words sure could be used in the current atmosphere of hate and division that we are seeing. This problem is not just a world issue, it has found its way in the church as well and has to be stopped or the institution as we know it very well may not survive. I think it starts with looking at our fruit. Is there love? Is there joy? Is there peace? Is there patience? Do we see and show kindness?


Something to think about:


Pastor Andy

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