Friday, August 12, 2011

Striving Towards Kindness

Part 2 of a “Segment-by-Challenging-Segment” Series of 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:4b (NASB)
Love is patient, love is kind ...

Love endures long, and is patient is kind … (Amplified)

Beginning the discussion:

As a private caregiver for the elderly, family members will often interview me to see if I’m the right person for the job. When answering their questions regarding my training, I often say, “Well, I’m not a CNA (certified nursing assistant), or a RN (registered nurse), but I’m an ANP.” I pause slightly to allow them to search through their memory banks trying to “remember” what ANP stood for. Then I solve the riddle, “a nice person.”

They chuckle with relief because that’s what they’re always looking for—a nice person to care for their loved one. And although I actually have Sheryl H. Boldt, ANP on my name tag, it’s much more of an ice breaker than a true testimony of my personality trait. Because you see, if it wasn’t for the work of God in my heart (and His kindness towards me), I would indeed be a NANP (not a nice person).

If you read my previous post, you will remember that we are slowly working our way (segment-by-challenging segment) to memorize and incorporate 1 Corinthians 13:4-7a into our lives. Last time, we began with, “Love is patient.” How are you doing with that? Memorized it yet? More importantly, are you behaving in a more loving way?

This time, we’re pushing on and adding “love is kind.” Hopefully, we’ll pray to allow God to change us to reflect His loving kindness even when those around us aren’t. And that God will help us be kind after someone insults us, or respond kindly when our hair is cut too short, or when we are charged for three tubes of toothpaste rather than two or when our spouse or children forget to thank us for any of the endless deeds we do for them.

Kindness is a step added to patience, isn’t it? I can perhaps accomplish the appearance of being patient (which is a feat in itself); but to stretch further and respond kindly takes a more obvious effort. And of course, I pray our goal will be that we are truly changed from within.

By the way, while I wear the ANP next to my name, I do humbly admit that I know several ENP’s (even nicer people).

I hope to hear from you.

Discussion points for 1 Corinthians 13:4a: Love is patient; love is kind:
  • How do you normally respond when people treat you unfairly?
  • Do you know any ENP’s? How does their example of showing kindness influence you?
__________

To help you memorize this verse, you can write the scripture out by hand on an index card. Or click on the Biblegate.com link to copy and paste the verse in any Bible translation you choose. The “Preparing Scripture Memory Cards” tab may also be helpful.

2 comments:

  1. I am blessed with a few ENP in my life! My mother and some of my closest friends could sport an ENP pin. Each ENP has truly encouraged and inspired me to be more Christlike. When I am faced with a challenging situation or if my temper is ready to flare, I am grateful that God's love, patience and kindness are gently instructing me to respond as He would, thanks to His Holy Spirit and to my ENPs.

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  2. I totally relate, Wendy. Please let me (and others) know how memorizing this scripture helps you in these areas. I truly believe we will be changed as we purpose to mature in Him.

    I had an opportunity to practice kindness this past weekend. If I hadn't been meditating specifically on this verse, I would have regretted my words towards a dear friend of mine. And now, a couple of days later, I realize I was actually totally wrong about the incident invloving this friend.

    But because I held my tongue (to behave kindly), I prevented an additional embarrassing and possibly destructive incident.

    Do you know what I mean?

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