Kindness

It is Sunday, April 30, 2017. Last day of April.

Quote of the Day

“To be is to do.” ~ Immanuel Kant
“To do is to be.” ~ Jean Paul Sartre
“Do be do be do.” ~ Frank Sinatra

Word of the Day

Diacritic ~ a mark, point, or sign added or attached to a letter or character to distinguish it from another of similar form, to give it a particular phonetic value, to indicate stress, etc., as a cedilla, tilde, circumflex, or macron. Also called diacritical mark.

Today is Honesty Day. All politicians will be unavailable today.

The band concert went pretty well, yesterday afternoon, in spite of the wind, and most of us having our music blown off of our stand at least once during the event. There was a strong, cold wind blowing, intermittently, throughout the evening. At one point, I really thought it was going to start raining, but it waited until we were finished. Even then, it was just a sprinkle. I never got wet. Just cold. The temperature dropped at least ten degrees in an hour. But, overall, I think we played quite well.

As I may have mentioned earlier, we plan to go to Scarborough Renaissance Festival, in Waxahachie, after church today. We will be taking jackets, as the high today is supposed to be in the upper sixties, and there are wind advisories throughout the day.

We are getting ready for our worship gathering, this morning. We worship with The Exchange, which meets at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 N. Beach Street, in Fort Worth. The gathering begins at 10:15 AM.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Psalm 32:11
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah. 
Psalm 67:1
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
Psalm 50:2
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

This morning, I’m going to share a piece from C.S. Lewis’s book, The Problem of Pain. It’s a segment about kindness.

“Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness. For about a hundred years we have so concentrated on one of the virtues—“kindness” or mercy—that most of us do not feel anything except kindness to be really good or anything but cruelty to be really bad. Such lopsided ethical developments are not uncommon, and other ages too have had their pet virtues and curious insensibilities. And if one virtue must be cultivated at the expense of all the rest, none has a higher claim than mercy. . . . The real trouble is that “kindness” is a quality fatally easy to attribute to ourselves on quite inadequate grounds. Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment. Thus a man easily comes to console himself for all his other vices by a conviction that “his heart’s in the right place” and “he wouldn’t hurt a fly,” though in fact he has never made the slightest sacrifice for a fellow creature. We think we are kind when we are only happy: it is not so easy, on the same grounds, to imagine oneself temperate, chaste, or humble. You cannot be kind unless you have all the other virtues. If, being cowardly, conceited and slothful, you have never yet done a fellow creature great mischief, that is only because your neighbour’s welfare has not yet happened to conflict with your safety, self-approval, or ease. Every vice leads to cruelty.”

Another misconception that we have about kindness is that being nice to someone is the same thing as being kind. But there are times when being nice to someone is most definitely the opposite of being kind. Giving children what they want all the time is nice. But it is not kind, as it leads them down a path of thinking they should always get what they want. And we all know, thanks to The Rolling Stones, you can’t always get what you want.

Father, help me to always be kind. I confess that I am not always kind. I get attitudes, sometimes, that produce a measure of cruelty. Not physical, for sure, but still, I have the disturbing ability to be quite cruel at times. Show me the way of kindness. Teach me these things as I follow Jesus in discipleship. Show me his kindness and embed that spirit within me, as well.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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