Christmas and the New Year's is past. I have spoken of a word that I will try to make real in 2015 - kindness. Yet, this is hard and brings to mind a group conversations with a number of men at a recent Saturday morning Bible study. We discussed the issue of being kind to those we don’t like or are different than us. This may be some of our relatives from the Holiday party or those with whom we work who bug us, or people on the street.
As we chatted about this trial in common that morning, the solutions were hard to find, but LISTENING was a key. In fact active listening or listening presence has power. We don’t need to say anything even if our nemesis is talking, even in excess. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Colossians 3:12-14 gives us further Biblical guidance: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
He goes on suggesting that we sing songs to one another. Really? How? With gratitude in our hearts to God. Thankfulness is at the center of God’s will for us. In fact, God is in the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). Paul said elsewhere to give thanks in all things, for it is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
So, be kind, listen and be thankful! Any other ideas? Please add a comment for conversation as we thankfully head into 2015.