Kindness could be viewed as a bit of a lame affection – it lacks the sense of commitment and drive of love, the selflessness of mercy, or the staunchness of justice. Kindness effectively means to be benevolent, to be friendly.
Yet kindness is like a buffer and a glue in relationships. People are able to stick together when kindness is present between them and if tensions or difficulties arise, kindness softens the blows to reduce harm done.
When a child is kind it is beautiful. For an adult to be kind is essential. Consider any interaction between people: now imagine it with no kindness – it turns nasty and evil, doesn’t it?
Kind adults arise from kind children. So for the sake of society pray for your children to be kind.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
(Ephesians 4:32 ESV)
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Image of boy holding a lamb: iStockphoto
I’ve acquired a very irritating alarm clock – little person who climbs into our bed, lies horizontally across it and proceeds to kick me until I get up and get him his morning milk!
Purity is an attribute which humans strive for but can never achieve on our own. Only God is absolutely pure, we are born sinners and so it is only through the sacrifice of Christ and subsequent work of the Holy Spirit in us that we can be purified.
I start with this to emphasize that in praying for my kids to be pure, to have pure hearts and clean hands, they must be in Christ. Purity is impossible apart from the work of Christ and even for those of us who are born again, purity only comes through the work of God in us, not merely by our own efforts.
When I consider my son, who is currently two and a half, I can see an innocence and purity of motive within him. Yet there is also deviousness, selfishness and sin in there too. Small children are about as pure-hearted as humans get so we want to keep them that way as long as possible. However, sin is relentless in our hearts and will have its way when left unchecked.
So I am praying for faith to be given to my children, that they may know Christ and His purity from a young age. I want them to be transformed by the washing of God’s words, by the whisper of His Holy Spirit to their conscience and by the growing fruit of righteousness in their lives.
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the LORD
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
(Psalm 24:4-5 ESV)
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Image of lotus flower: iStockphoto
Note: I know the lotus flower is a traditional Buddhist religious symbol, however, my reason for using a picture of a lotus flower in this post is because the lotus also symbolises purity. In part this is due to unique biological ‘self-cleaning’ properties of the leaves of the lotus plant. See here for further information.
Eventually the only thing remaining that is good for my soul is what God has done.
Fortunately my wife realizes this before I and arranges for us all to get away for a weekend.
Forty-five minutes up the road to a simple little cottage, the legacy of a lady who lived a hundred years. Now we sit in the sun room of her little cottage by the sea, soaking up sunlight and beauty.
Why do we need to escape to a little cottage by the sea when that is where we already live?
We go to a cottage that is even littler than our own, even closer to the sea. It has less stuff in it, no computer, and does not come with our schedule or agendas attached. We need a break from the life we have made for ourselves.
So in our earthly tents we stay in a borrowed house. Just a little family together with the little we need for a few days and the book God wrote, enjoying the world He made.
Then we come back ‘home’, to our house (borrowed from the bank!), to live in the world and trying to remember we are not of the world. To this we are called, and then when He is ready He will call us each home.
Better is a little with the fear of the LORD
than great treasure and trouble with it.
(Proverbs 15:16 ESV)
Soaking up the sun and wonderful view at ‘Molly’s Cottage’ in Kakanui