Tag Archives: Kindness

How Are We Perceived By Others?

5 May

How many lives we have touched for Jesus? Everywhere we go and everything we do should glorify our Heavenly Father. We may not be able to spend much time sharing about God or our praises about Him, but we can live as He tells us to and others will recognize Him in us.

I heard something a while back that I think of often, “You may not always remember what someone said to you, but you will remember how they made you feel.” Wow! I think that is a powerful statement. We have the power within us to build someone up, make them smile, or encourage them. On the other hand, we can ruin their good mood, or cause them to feel really bad about themselves. We can make them feel angry or unimportant and unacceptable. Our words and actions are that powerful!

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “If you can’t say anything good . . . don’t say anything at all.” That is really true. Everyone in today’s world moves at such a fast pace. We get in such a hurry that we fail to be available to those who may really need a word of kindness or encouragement. Whether we mean to or not, we leave an impression on others. By our words, our actions or even our facial expressions we can “speak” to others.

Not long ago I stopped in a Walgreens about 30 miles away from my home. It was late in the evening and I was a little anxious about going into a strange store that late. I ran in and picked up what I needed and ran back out. The following Sunday, a friend came over to me and said, “Mrs. Linda, I saw you last night and you had an awful expression on your face, you scared me!” I laughed because I thought he was kidding me.

I am the leader of the prayer ministry at our church. My friend said he had always seen such a different expression on my face when I was at the altar to pray for others.  I goofed around with him, making excuses and trying to explain away why I had such an expression on my face. Then, I apologized to him and realized how I must have appeared to him. He walked right by me and I didn’t see him or speak to him. I had a scowl on my face. I truly did not see him and was a little nervous about being in a strange area. But, without knowing it, I left an impression on him. Since then, he sometimes looks at me and gives me a big smile, to remind me to smile.

What if he had been a friend I wouldn’t see the next day? What if he had been someone from my  church that didn’t know me well enough to tell me? I would have stood up front at the alter the next morning to pray for others.  Would that person have come to me for prayer? Probably not. I would have “spoken” loud and clear by the way I breezed past him with a scornful look on my face, not speaking a word to him.

Our words and our thoughts are powerful. What I was feeling inside that evening came through loud and clear to others. But, they didn’t know what I was thinking. It may sound insignificant, but it isn’t. We have many opportunities to speak to others even if we don’t say a word. Our actions speak to others. We need to let Jesus shine through in all we do.

Being a Christian is more than attending church on Sunday morning. Following Jesus means we develop a relationship with Him. We spend time with Him, talking to Him and reading His Word in the Bible. Each day we grow more and more in His likeness and others can see it. We plant seeds everywhere we go and in all we do. The Holy Spirit watches over that seed that has been planted in the heart of another.

We need to speak life into others.  We need to encourage them in every way we can. We need to accept people as they are. We need to let them know they are valuable; go the extra mile.  We should choose to uplift others and not be critical. We need to let God use us so that His Holy Spirit can draw others to Himself.

Seeds aren’t very big – many of them are tiny. But from those seeds grow mighty things.

Plant seeds. God will do the rest.

 

You May Have the Gift of Mercy If . . .

29 Jul

SPIRITUAL GIFTS (10)

Characteristics of the gift of MERCY (Part 2)

There are seven Spiritual Gifts mentioned in Romans:

Rom 12:3-8

4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV

  • They are able to sense genuine love – They can very quickly identify insincerity
  • They are vulnerable to deeper and more frequent hurts because of lack of love or rejection. John’s teachings and personal relationships illustrate that his primary focus was on love. He uses the word “love” more than any other disciple (Gospel of John; Epistles of John).
  • They seek deep friendships in which there is mutual commitment. John established a very close relationship with Christ and with Peter. He often refers to  himself as the disciple “whom Jesus loved.”
  • They tend to react harshly when intimate friends are rejected. John and James asked Christ if they should call down fire from heaven and consume the Samaritans who rejected Christ (Luke 9:54.
  • They are more concerned about mental joy or distress than physical concerns. John wrote to give his readers “joy” – “fellowship” – “hope” – “confidence” – and to cast out “fear” and “torment” (I John 1:3, 4; 3:2, 4:18; 5:13-14)
  • They attract people who are having mental and emotional stress.  John’s deep understanding, love, and acceptance made it easy to understand why others would confide in him as Christ did during the last supper (John 13:23-26). Meeting physical needs proves love (I John 3:17)
  • They measure acceptance by physical closeness and quality time together.
    John sought out the closest place to Christ: “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples (John 13:23). His need for closeness may have prompted his request to sit next to Christ in glory. (Mark 10:35-37)
  • They desire to remove the causes of hurts rather than look for benefits from them. John’s message was to get Christians to stop hating and hurting each other. (I John 3:11, 15)
  • They generally avoid decisions and firmness unless they will eliminate greater hurts. John was a follower until it came to denying Jesus; then was bold and decisive (Acts 4:13; 19-20)
  • They don’t keep score
  • They are attracted to outsiders – to show acceptance and kindness
  • They have lots of acquaintances and enjoy calling a lot of people friends
  • They empathize deeply with hurting people
  • They are compelled to provide some type of immediate aid to anyone who is hurting

In addition to what I have learned about Spiritual Gifts, I have also used material by the following:

  • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritual Gifts”
  • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
  • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
  • Biblesoft Libraries
  • Sandy Trice
  • David Francis
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