Being All Things to All Men

Often time we read the Bible and we put it down and get nothing from it. Then you read that same passage of Scripture a second time and your mind is blown. Well, that was me this morning during my devotions. A passage of Scripture, I had read but didn’t fully grasp and understand then I understand it now. Funny enough, I learnt it practically but never thought it had any Scripture backing to what I learned but merely us, using our knowledge of communication to carry about the Good News. This passage of Scripture is 1 Corinthians 9:19-27; being all things to all men.

In verse 19, the Apostle, Paul talks about being free in Christ but to spread the Gospel, he has taken up the role of a slave to everyone that he may encounter so that they would know the Good News of Jesus Christ. In the verses that follow, he talks about not being a Jew but becoming a Jew or becoming a Gentile even though he wasn’t, so that these people would know about Jesus. In verse 22, even though he is becoming all things to all people, he knows that not everyone will accept the Gospel, but it is worth it so that he would win some. Paul does these things of course without compromising the message (verse 27) of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ which we all know as the Gospel or Good News. We also see this in the Gospels; Jesus did this whenever He spoke to different people groups. Jesus is all things to all men.

Application to Us

I know, sometimes the older generation tends to neglect the different communicative methods to reach out to the youth. Even us, the youth neglect these different methods to reach out to persons and often time we spread the Gospel…but not effectively. Yes, the Holy Spirit can only change hearts, but we were mandated to spread the Gospel, therefore let us do it with the knowledge we have around us. We, must take an example from the Paul and become all things, to all men. Let our message not be compromised but let it be relevant to which ever age group, race, ethnicity or religion we are going to speak too. We can’t relate the Gospel to a five-year-old, the way we would to someone who is over 30 years old. Therefore, Junior church exists, to relate the Gospel in a simplified version to the children without compromise.

Remember being all things to all be doesn’t mean:

  • Compromising the Gospel
  • Being sinful
  • Not being relevant to the group of persons you are speaking too
  • Being prideful

Instead it requires:

  • The GOSPEL
  • Relevancy
  • Creativeness
  • Humility
  • Servitude

Thank God for the people who evangelized to you and were all things to all men and pray that the Holy Spirit guides you and helps you be all things to all men. I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 and apply it to your walk with Christ; preaching the Gospel to those who desperately needs it.

Grace & Peace.

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A Prayer – Kings Kaleidoscope (Review)

 

It is very rare that I would review a song on my blog but after listening to it last night after a million times, I felt the need to review it. This song has resonated with me on deep levels and actually spoke to my soul. I felt as though this song was written for me through my rough patches in life and I heard it for the first time during a time when I needed that message in my life.

This song is real and it removes the veil of our cropped out, photoshop lives that we show on social media and reveals the reality of our hearts. It is a personal song written by the lead singer of the band, Kings Kaleidoscope, Chad Gardner. Or should I say, a personal prayer written by Chad Gardner. It is a very short and simple song with multiple depths to it! Even though it was written for whatever situation Chad was going through, every broken Christian person can relate it back to their own personal struggles and fears.

Will I fall or will I misstep?

Will I fall or will I misstep?

Will I call You with my last breath?

Will You be there for me after?

Will I waste inside the silence

Where the fear is vicious violent?

Wicked sinner thrown to lions

With no hope on the horizon

Will I fall or will I misstep?

The first half of the song seems very hopeless. There was a time in my life, where I completely doubted God and I felt as though His presence was nowhere near me. I battled with my belief in Him and I felt slowly that I would become someone who no longer believed in God. The first half of the song resonated with me because it is just how I felt except placed into words. It was literally my prayer over and over to God.

Jesus, where are You?

Am I still beside You?

Jesus, where are You?

Am I still beside You?

Jesus, where are You?

Am I still beside You?

Am I still beside You?

Jesus, where are You?

Jesus, where are You?

Verse 3 was me calling out to God, wanting Him to answer me. Wanting Him to assure me that He was there. But it was like He wasn’t there. Like He wasn’t answering me and part of me felt empty and was wondering what was the sense in believing Him. What if all of what I believed was a lie and not real? It felt for a long while that there was silent on His end.

Right after this verse, the song goes silent for a few seconds. I believe Chad artfully placed this silence for a reason because sometimes before Jesus answers us, there seems to be a silence that may seem never-ending, however the song comes back in and instruments seem to play a sound of hope and it feels like the clouds part and a beam of light bursting through the clouds. Then the final verse is basically God answering us;

I’m right beside you!

I feel what you feel!

And I’m here to hold you

When death is too real!

You know, I died, too!

I was terrified!

I gave myself for you!

I was crucified

Because I love you!

I love you, child!

I love you!

The final verse is God reminding us of His sacrificial love of sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us (John 3:16). It also speaks of how God knows us deeply and He knows how we feel and what we think (Psalm 139). He understands, Jesus understands our pain, our fears and our questions. He reminds us that He deeply loves us and would never leave us. I hope this song ministers to you, as it did to me. Kings Kaleidoscope is a band that I deeply love because of the Gospel message in each of their songs. You all can check them out.

Grace & Peace.

**Lyrics from Genius.com

 

Reflections from a Graduating Student

I, Brittney Harris vow to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth about a University student experience. Not just a university student, but a student that came straight out of secondary school and one that started a bit young. I just came to the end of my degree after three seemingly long years of studying at the University of the West Indies. I started in 2014, I did not stay on campus or anywhere near campus because travelling would not have been a problem for me because I did not live a long distance away from UWI. So, basically, I stayed at home with my mother which is nice. I will break down the timeline of my degree from my first year to my third and final year in this blog.

First Year!

It was so exciting when I got my acceptance letter to UWI, the university I always dreamed of going to when I got older. I signed up for Biology and I got into it, however I remembered slightly regretting putting Biology as my first choice. I chose Biology because I initially thought I wanted to do medicine but slowly that dream withered away and I wanted to become an Environmentalist. My first day of UWI I reached late for my class, like as in missing the whole class while another class started…late. It was a struggle at first finding classes and knowing where to go. It was weird being a teenager pushed into a new environment where you came from secondary school and teachers were responsible for you and if you slipped up, they held you accountable by calling your parents; to you being completely responsible for everything and no lecturer holding you accountable for it. So, I guess you can say I was irresponsible in my first year. In my first year, I got sick like around three times back to back because it was a new environment with thousands of people on campus daily. I had classes with over 200 students present. I struggled to understand what was going on in my classes, especially in my Biology classes. I made a variation of bad decisions which were reflected in my grades at the end of finals of semester one. Related image

In semester two, it was slightly better, I learned from my mistakes quickly and worked harder with the help of some close friends. I also entered a relationship (I am still currently in) and he helped me along the way, with prayers, encouragement and some stern encouragements about studying harder. However, I needed some electives (to make up for extra credits) and chose one that I couldn’t access and well even though I had improved in my Biology courses except Biochemistry, I got a warning on my transcript. Therefore, I did summer school. Summer school helped me mature a little more and well, I realized that I did not put as much efforts in studying harder for my courses and I passed both courses that I did over.

Second Year!!

My second year was the hardest and darkest year of my university experience. In my second year, I was on the executive committee of my all-time favourite Christian group ever (they are still to this day my favourite set of people and organization), IVCF. It was the year that my degree took it up a notch, I wasn’t doing only two Biology courses like in year 1, I was now doing five of them. All which had their own assignments and requirements. I also shared classes with my boyfriend and some of my friends who were in their final or third year. Mentally, this year was trying especially the first semester. First, I was incredibly insecure about my intelligence because I came from primary school and secondary school being one of the smartest to now being an average, Image result for university student stressed tumblrmediocre student. It seemed like everyone I was surrounded by were first class students or students that did extremely well in their exams. And I, well I was struggling to pass my incourse exams or just barely passing. Comparison is the thief of joy and I can tell you that. Secondly, it was the first time I have ever suffered mentally, my mental health wasn’t in the best place. I almost had two panic attacks where my heart was racing and I couldn’t breathe but through prayers, it did not go on to be full blown panic attacks. I had quite a few mental breakdowns where I couldn’t pick up my book to study or complete assignments and that was hard because at one point I suffered through them alone. Please, don’t ever suffer through these things alone, tell someone what you are going through, get help. Also, in the first semester, my relationship went through a rough patch LOL (that’s for another blog post some day).Image result for university student stressed tumblr

Semester two became a little easier, the courses were not as hard as the previous semester, I learned from my mistakes, my relationship problems were dealt with and we grew and forgave each other (we now look back at laugh at it). I started to try and compare myself a little less, I experienced one mental breakdown between two classes where I couldn’t go to the next class and I had to go home. I did not have to go through that one on my own though. At the end of this year I was tired but I did not have to do summers and I had an amazing testimony from this year. So, in semester one I had to do another Biochemistry course which is Biochemistry II. I can tell you I worked extremely hard and studied hard for this one because I did not want to fail. I took that course seriously and then the exam did not come favourable and well, I failed but then a large percentage of students failed and they went over the grades and in the end, I got an extra 5% which means, essentially, I passed the course and did not have to do it over. Still praising Jesus for that up to today.

Third & Final Year!!!

To be honest, my third year was possibly the hardest year in UWI but it was my best year ever. This was the year I got to choose my specializations and I got to do courses that I liked and the classes were smaller, therefore you got to interact more with your lecturers who by the way all of which I love and appreciate because they are all kind-hearted people. I had tons of research projects and smaller projects during this year but all of them I enjoyed doing. This year, I believed I cut off a lot of socializing and I sacrificed certain things for my degree and mental wellbeing. I had very little time to do things that I enjoyed and in the second semester I had little time to even wash my hair. However, through all the work, I took comfort in knowing Jesus was with me even though sometimes I didn’t know if I would have finished assignments on time. Related imageBut during this year, there was a sense of calmness and comfort through a raging storm. Even coming down to the end of my final year, my father got a minor heart-attack which was shocking and scary but the Lord helped me through finishing my projects and He even helped me through my exams when I wasn’t even sure I would pass them (by the way I did well in all). At the end of this year I was extremely tired. I did summers to finish up only two courses which I didn’t do but needed to graduate and everything worked out well in the end. I remembered, saying at the end of my third year I wanted to graduate with Upper Seconds instead of Lower Seconds because my year 2 grades weren’t “lit”. I am happy to say that Jesus came through with this minor request for me and I can’t even tell you how it happened because it is only through Him.

 

Reflections

To the church, to people who have not done a degree before; students who got in to do a degree and are currently going through it, doesn’t mean everything is okay with them. It doesn’t mean they are surviving well. We are surrounded with different beliefs, ideologies, philosophies and struggles that if you don’t know who you are in Christ, you will bend easily, you will be easily lead astray in that environment and you would be easily tossed with the wind. If you don’t have a strong mind, it is easy to get depressed and suffer from mental illnesses and sometimes students come in with mental illnesses and sometimes university can make it worse. It is not easy as some of us would make it seem. Stop thinking we got it all figured out. And just because someone doesn’t pursue a degree, don’t think of them as lesser, we are all intelligent in different ways. Just because they choose to pursue something different, doesn’t mean they are inferior to persons that have done a degree, they are equally as needed as someone who is academically inclined.

To those that are now entering a degree; You will get a huge culture shock and its okay. Make sure you are grounded in His word and that you are surrounded by people with the same vision and mission as you. There are many clubs on campus and many good Christian groups that will help you through this journey. Please join them. Get to know people who are in your year and people who have gone through the things that you are about to experience. Constantly pray and make time for your devotions. NEVER NEGLECT IT!

To those who are currently doing their degree; I understand how you feel, I know what you have been through. Don’t be afraid to talk about your problems, don’t be afraid to open-up to someone around you about them. I am here if you need prayers, there are people out there that support you and would understand. The Holy Spirit comforts when no one can. Run to God and His word in times of trouble and have faith, it will end soon.

How you can help a college/university student?

  1. You can help by giving food: If you are in a church close to a university like UWI, you may potentially have a lot of university students present Image result for food gifand sometimes when things get rough, some students may run out of money, you can give them food. This is particularly important to regional students and students who are from Tobago or South. Even if your church isn’t close to a university, there may be students in your church that need food at times who don’t have a strong support system. Food is needed for strength! And it is a nice gesture. University students love free food.
  2.  You can help by giving money: As September is near, GATE is no longer fully free for everyone (this is for Trinidad and Tobago citizens), which means some students may need to pay 25% of their tuition. Image result for money gifYou can give to someone who may need this money. Some of us can’t afford books, you can give to that cause also. As I mention, some regional, Tobago or South students may need money also for basic survival and needs away from their home which you can help with. Not all parents can afford everything and not everyone has a strong support system at home.
  3. You can help by praying with us or for us: As cliché as it may sound, but some of us just need your prayers. Praying with us and for us is what we need the most on this list and prayer is powerful. Related imageWe may not tell you everything we go through, but we go through a plethora of problems and your prayers can help us through those situations. So, please lift us up in your prayers or come to us and pray with us
  4. You can help by encouraging us and talking to us: Sometimes, all we just wished was someone would talk to us and find out what is wrong, how we are feeling and what not. And when we say it is stressful don’t just throw around a cliché Christian line and leave but talk us through how we feel and give us sound biblical counsel. We need it. Continue encouraging us with the Word. Or give us even a hug (it depends on who the person is, just don’t go around doing it if the person is not comfortable with that). Allow us to cry and pour our hearts out but comfort us in the end.Image result for comforting someone gif

There are many other ways you can help us but these four examples are just some ways in which you can help. You can practically help and you can spiritually help.

All in all, I am grateful for this journey in my life and I am thankful to God for being there for me throughout even when I doubted Him. I don’t believe this degree is the be all and end all of my life because God may have something better for me in store and in the end, I don’t need it to enter into Heaven. There are so much more important things God wants me to be and do according to His word that this degree pales in comparison to. As this chapter closes in my life, I enter a new one…adulthood. Let’s see what the future holds and I believe Jesus is faithful till the end.

Grace & Peace.

The Fruit of the Spirit is Goodness

The fruit of the Spirit is Goodness…

As the author Elizabeth George describes Patience, Kindness and Goodness as the action Fruit of the Spirit. Patience, does nothing, Kindness is the thought of doing something and Goodness is the outward action of Kindness. However, we cannot achieve this without God. Elizabeth reminds us that it is only through God and our relationship with Him, that we can show forth these spiritual fruits. It is only through God’s grace that it is possible for us to show forth these fruits.

Elizabeth opens this chapter with a story about a man. Guards were outside knocking on his door to capture him and carry him to be executed. His servants run up to the room to prepare to hide him, however he goes downstairs and greet the guards and proceeded to feed them. Not just feed them, but feed them with his finest. She concludes that this is a great example of Christian goodness. This, we can see the fruit of the Spirit in action. Elizabeth goes on to describe three definitions of spiritual goodness:

  1. True goodness is spiritual in its origin: God is good (Psalm 33:5; Nehemiah 9:25,35), from the beginning to the end of the Bible. God has been very gracious to us, His creation throughout time and time again. We represent Him, when we show goodness to others. God’s goodness is opposite to our badness. As Paul says, nothing good dwells in us, however, through God’s grace we can show forth goodness.
  2. Goodness is active: with God in our lives and ever-present, this produces goodness. Goodness glorifies God.
  3. Goodness is a readiness to do good: it is the dedication of being ready to do good.

The Holy Spirit in us, should make a difference in the way we live and treat the people around us. Elizabeth uses the following scriptures to describe the difference we should see; walk in the newness of life (Romans 6:4), walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called (Ephesians 4:1), walk in love (Ephesians 5:2), walk as children in the light (Ephesians 5:8), walk in Him (Colossians 2:6), walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you (1 Thessalonians 2:12), walk in the same manner as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6) and walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). Goodness in us doesn’t come naturally but we should make choices to be good daily. We must make choices to be good to everyone around us, especially those who hurt us and treat us badly. We must remember that the Fruit is His and that when we walk in obedience with His commands, He produces His fruit in us, a profound point Elizabeth brings up. It glorifies God. Our choice to obey God is a constant battle between flesh and the Spirit. We, as Christians must make Godly choices to bring glory to God.

Goodness is our assignment from God, and we must grow in good works. However, salvation is what makes this possible. Salvation was not accomplished through good works. Our good works, has nothing to do with our salvation and it does not result in salvation, however it is an output of salvation. The grace shown to us, empowers us to do good works. Since this book is tailored more for women but I believe it can be applied to everyone; she discusses that in our walk as women we must practice goodness and it must start from our homes. She encourages us, sometimes we may get caught up in different house work and what not, that we stress ourselves out and become unkind and not good to the people around us. We must do what we need to do without becoming hasty to the people in our house and the people we invite in our house. She also encourages older women, who have experiences and who know Christ, to teach the younger women in their lives to be good. She uses Titus 2:3-5 as her biblical reference to do this. She even explains that this task isn’t for male church leaders to do but for the older women in the church to teach the younger women, biblical womanhood. She also encourages us, before we adorn ourselves with make-up, cute outfits and jewellery that we must adorn ourselves with goodness. When people speak and see us they must see our goodness and Christ in our lives and not just our outer appearance first. We must strive to be good and I believe this can be encouraged in men’s lives also.

Examples of Goodness in the Bible:

Elizabeth uses different biblical women as examples of how they were good for example Dorcas (Acts 9:36), the Shunamite woman (2 Kings 4:8-10), Rebekah (Genesis 24:15-20) and Lydia (Acts 16:15). She also used one example of a woman who did good deeds but she did not have patience, kindness and goodness and this was Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Our ultimate example of goodness is Jesus Christ, who was the walking Fruit of the Spirit. She goes on to give an example of Jesus’ goodness to people who were not kind to Him. Jesus was refused welcome to a Samaritan town and the disciples were mad, that they wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume them but Jesus rebuked them and said that the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s life but to save them. And Jesus moved on to another village (Luke 9:54-56).

It is only natural for us, in our sinfulness to want to take revenge and dish out karma for the wrongs done to us in our lives or for the sake of our loved ones but God calls us to be patient, kind and good towards those that are our enemies, those that hurt us and misuse us. In my life, I have seen loved ones around me hurt and misused for their kindness and goodness and it makes me not want to be good and kind to people around me, but God desires that I would be, He commands that I should. It is His will and not mine and I pray that His will is done in my life. I have not been patient, kind or good sometimes to the people that hurt me but I desire what He wants me to be. I pray that as I grow in Christ, that He continues to place His Fruit inside of my life so that He is glorified. I encourage you today, to be good to those that hurt you even though every bone in you doesn’t. I pray that the Holy Spirit gives you the power to do so as you fight against your flesh. Remember, the battle is won through Jesus Christ.

Up next the Applications of the Fruit of the Spirit: faithfulness followed by gentleness and self-control.

Grace & Peace

**In case this is your first time reading my blog, I am reviewing a book called “A Woman’s Walk with God: Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit” by Elizabeth George. I go through each chapter with the Fruit of the Spirit, I write what she says and then in the end, I sum up my thoughts. Enjoy and be edified!

Teenagers & Raging Hormones

Tonight, I saw a picture with two teenagers fully clad in school uniform so neatly put together but the only thing wrong with the picture was that the boy, hugged the girl while gently squeezing one of her breast in the picture and the adults go wild in the comment section. Another thing wrong with the picture, is that it was shared on a news page on facebook by a grown “responsible” adult.

Disclaimer, I am not condoning their behaviour, but let’s sympathize with them for a little. First of all, for years upon years this kind of behaviour has been going on in secondary schools why are we acting like this is a new thing? Surely, worse than this has happened, we all have stories. Secondly, people talking about their parents and teachers failing to discipline them right, do we fail to realize, these are two teenagers who are going through hormonal changes and seek to explore their sexuality? If it is anything, we as adults have failed them because we, as a society do not like to talk about sex and instead they get an idea of sex from naïve friends in school. Just because they do this, doesn’t make them stupid or dumb student in their school work, it just makes them unwise and child-like (which they will be) in their decision making. They can be model students and excellent academically but it doesn’t exempt them from making unwise choices like this. Adults, why are we telling these teenagers they are not supposed to feel the way they feel when in actuality feel the way they feel. We need to learn to teach them how to wisely navigate through this period in their lives so that they would make wise decisions. We need to make a safe space where they are comfortable to come and ask responsible adults about sex without having to feel ashamed or feel as though something is wrong with them when it is natural for them to feel this way.

The church has failed in the area of teaching young people about sex and making wise decisions about sex. We have villainized sex in a way that it seems like something bad but in fact it is not, it is a good thing when done in the correct context which is marriage. God created sex, why are we acting like if it came from the devil? Young people have a lot of questions that should be answered in the right place by people with experience but we turn them away by shaming them and making it seem like it is not okay to be curious about sex without wanting to have sex. How are we to help young people who struggle in their sexual purity when it is taboo to talk about sex and we make them feel terrible for having sexual feelings? Then automatically expect them to know everything about sex when they get married? We cannot turn our sexuality on and off, it occurs all of the time and it doesn’t get easier as you get older and more aware. Let us at least make a conscious effort to inform and make a comfortable space where we give information to young people about sex and help them navigate through their struggles. We can help them make wiser decisions as they navigate through this thing called life.

Grace & Peace.

The Fruit of the Spirit is Patience

The Fruit of the Spirit is…Patience.

After writing on kindness, I thought that I already wrote on patience because I did finish read the chapter on patience however I did not write a post about it. For that, I humbly apologise and will now write on patience. As I said in my previous post, I am currently reading a book by Elizabeth George entitled A Woman’s Walk with God (Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit). As I read each chapter, I will share what she wrote, what I have learned and how I review my life during each Fruit of the Spirit.

God calls us to be patient, towards the people in our lives (believers and non-believers alike). This helps us be united and stand together in peace. Patience is not easily attained as it is easy to be impatient with the people around us. Elizabeth describes four key ingredients for attaining patience; endurance, patience when injured, mercy and contains no anger or vengeance. Endurance is basically having tolerance and being slow to anger and wrath when people treat you bad or wrong. We are to endure with people in our lives. Patience when injured means to endure injuries inflicted by others around us. Sometimes people may hurt our feelings and we want to react in anger towards them. It shows when pain is inflicted on us. Mercy, which bears with others for their good. It wants the best for the people around us even if they rubbed us the wrong way. Elizabeth uses a quote from William Barclay; “If God had been a man, He would have wiped out this world long ago, but He has that patience which bears with all of our sinning and will not cast us off. Therefore, in our dealings with fellow men we must reproduce this loving, forbearing, forgiving, patient attitude of God.” Containing no anger or vengeance means to not do anything, not to take revenge or retaliate against the wrong-doings done against you. Patience can be seen as doing nothing. However, within this time, it helps us carefully think about something; to pray, to reflect and respond in a righteous manner.

We all struggle with patience, I even do on a daily basis with dealing with my family members and with my significant other in our relationship. I can be impatient sometimes, and I hope that God helps me be less impatient because it makes me do the wrong thing or react the wrong way without fully understanding a situation. Elizabeth gives examples of patience with people found in the bible like God, who is continuously patient with us. God waited patiently until Noah finished the ark so that people would be saved (120 years), however only eight people were saved. Jesus was patient (and still is). Jesus encourages us to love our enemies and do good to them and pray for them. Paul was patient when he addressed those who were not Christians so that we can hope in their salvation. Hannah was patient while she endured persecution and was taunted by Peninnah because she couldn’t conceive. She prayed to God and He gave her a child, Samuel. Sarah wasn’t patient. God promised Sarah a child, however Sarah couldn’t wait and she sent her husband Abraham to conceive a child with Hagar, which caused problems in the long run. However, God still gave her Isaac.

Patience is one of the most difficult things to practice and it involves doing nothing. However, we have Jesus’ example of His patience and mercy towards us; He gave us the free gift of salvation and through this gift we can extend that to the people around us. Patience is also waiting for someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus, receive His salvation and continuously praying on their behalf. Patience is also not being reactive to what people may do against you or just simply understanding before you have a reaction. I pray that the Holy Spirit helps us be more patient in our daily lives for the sake of unity, love and peace. And for the furtherance of the Gospel.

 

Next up…Goodness!

Grace & Peace.

The Fruit of the Spirit is Kindness

The Fruit of the Spirit is…Kindness.
In a series of posts, so far, I have covered the Fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience and now we will get into kindness. This started off last year but due to delays I couldn’t continue posting as I would like on this book from Elizabeth George entitled A Woman’s Walk with God (Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit). As I mentioned in my first post, this book is great and helps you review each aspect of your life and see where you can improve on based on the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. In this post, we will explore the Fruit of the Spirit, kindness.

In this chapter she describes patience, kindness and goodness the actions of the Fruit of the Spirit. She described patience as doing nothing but kindness as getting up and doing something. In the beginning of this part the book, she talks fondly of her friend Judy, who helped comforted and provide food and drinks to people who experienced a lost during a bridal shower. After they left the room, they overheard a lady saying that Judy was “too nice”. Elizabeth encourages us to be too nice as this can be an indication of us showing kindness towards each other. In my experience, I haven’t been too kind to the people in my life, particularly my family members. Sometimes they really do upsetting things which makes me feel as though it is okay to be mean to them in certain instances. I have been kind to other people around me, to an extent, except my kindness did not extend towards the people closest to me. Through reading this chapter, it made me feel convicted of my actions towards the people who I should firstly be kind to before others. Along with kindness, we must have a heart of compassion to the people we will serve. Elizabeth shares a story about a lecturer that told her students to think of one person you dislike the most and be kind to them. One student shared their story and said they took up the mantle and did just that and at the end, they realized they began to feel more compassion and understanding towards the person and the behaviours that they disliked in the person began to drift away as they prejudged the person. Kindness helps us be more compassionate, empathetic and understanding towards people that we may encounter in our daily lives.

Elizabeth describes four ways in which we can cultivate kindness and they are as follows:
1. Caring is a part of kindness – it speaks of genuinely caring about people in our lives which would help us pay more attention to their wellbeing. She urges us that prayers help us cultivate caring for others, as we should not have ill-intent when praying for those around us.
2. Thinking is a part of kindness – this is when we begin to think of others and their wellbeing. It makes us think of how we can serve that person and make their life easier. She uses the example of David when he asked if there are any of Saul’s family still alive so that he can show them kindness. Despite Saul attempting to kill him, David still showed Saul kindness despite it all.
3. Noticing is a part of kindness – observing whether people need help or not can help us cultivate an attitude of kindness. She encourages us to watch and listen in order to serve people around us. Elizabeth uses the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4), Dorcas (Acts 9) and Jesus when He served the multitudes food as examples of this.
4. Touching is a part of kindness – a tender touch of concern and compassion helps cultivate kindness. An example of this is when Jesus dealt with little children and many other examples found in the Bible.

In retrospect, in order to cultivate an attitude of kindness we must notice the areas in our life where we aren’t kind to certain people around us and go to God with it. We must strive to love our enemies and be kind to them despite of how they may treat us. We must understand what people may go through in life and get rid of our prejudged perception about them. Most importantly we must pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us on how to be more kind to the people that we may not be too kind to. I encourage you as I pray to be more kind, that I hope you add a little more kindness into this cold world that is starved of love and kindness.

Next up…Goodness!
Grace & Peace.