Sunday, November 05, 2006

Kindness



This summer 24-7 missions teams wandered the streets and prayed with people, helped people home, cleaned people up, wandered the beaches giving out free oranges, cleared land at a local school and generally expressed the love of God to people through kindness.

When we moved to Ibiza Floyd Mclung said to us “concentrate on blessing not selling”. We really took this to heart, it felt right. It gave us the strategy for our summer mission’s teams. The teams would walk the streets being kind and people would be confronted with kindness not aggressive street evangelists!

It really got under my skin, I have done all sorts of street work in the past and most of the time it filled me with dread, but here was something I felt we could all do. Be kind. It surprised me, how well it worked.

Genesis 12: 3 says, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." Now if I am correct this Abrahamic blessing still applies to us today. “The earth will be blessed through you”. I feel the challenge of this verse every time I read.

People should be blessed through me.

Now in my own experience I have often cried to God “bless me” there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it’s a valid request, and I use it a lot. God bless me, God bless my wife, God bless my family, and my friends etc. it’s definetly worth asking the Most High to bless you, because he does.

Yet I have started to contemplate the culture of blessing that exists in church circles. A friend of mine Ian Nicholson said a while ago that for a number of years the church has been crying, “Come Holy Spirit” but now the Holy Spirit is crying, “come holy people”. Maybe it’s a throw back from Toronto? but we can get caught up in a bless me culture.

Bless me lord! If you live in the western world you are blessed beyond measure. If you can afford to buy a book you are in the top 10% of the worlds rich. Nothing the matter with being blessed. We just have to increasingly learn to be a blessing to others.

So this is a major thought that is knocking around in my brain at the moment. I have to learn to be kind, increasingly kind.

Jeremiah 9: 24 says, “I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.” I want to exercise kindness.
Romans 2: 4 “Gods kindness leads you towards repentance” After all it’s the reason I am a Christian; because I became aware of Gods incredible kindness I turned to Him. I was shown “the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus”. Ephesians 2: 7

Kindness is simple, yet it is kindness that leads us to God and I believe as we express Gods kindness to other we will point them towards God.

I think there is a growing mandate for us to be missional and I believe this missionality will be expressed through the church becoming incredibly kind.

A mission of kindness.

Blessing not selling.

I will write some more tomorrow on simple acts of kindness.

3 comments:

dave wiggins said...

i'll look forward to tomorrow then

Karen P said...

Very cool. Brian, the Lord's been also speaking to me about that big time lately. "the power of the kindness of the gospel". And the whole thing that kindness is a Fruit of the Spirit. Can never go wrong when kindness is extended. I like what you wrote.

Sheena said...

amen! we've seen incredible doors open, both in the lives of individuals and in city government, through focusing our "can we help?" teams on acts of kindness. everthing is directed toward felt needs of those living in downtown portland, weather on the streets or just in the community.

when we extend the kindness of the heart of God amazing things happen. something inside of people that is hungry to be valued wakes up.