How to be kind even when you don’t want to be – Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness, Part 5

Kindness can get a bad rap.  Some people who are extraordinarily kind can come across as fake.  We tend to think that there is no way people can be that kind.  We want people to be real.  “I’m just keepin’ it real,” we say, as if it is always good to express ourselves however weContinue reading “How to be kind even when you don’t want to be – Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness, Part 5”

What to do when kindness doesn’t work – Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness, Part 4

This week we are studying kindness, so let’s go back to our definition of kindness. Kindness is “to provide something beneficial for someone as an act of kindness.”[1] My college, Lancaster Bible College, has an annual mission conference.  During the years Michelle and I were students, the mid 1990s, one feature of the mission conferenceContinue reading “What to do when kindness doesn’t work – Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness, Part 4”

What do kindness and heaven have to do with one another? – Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness, Part 3

In the previous post, we read Paul’s words in Galatians 5 where he writes that if you are regularly demonstrating hatred, discord, and fits of rage, you will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Is Paul saying that if we are not kind, we cannot go to heaven? “Paul,” you might say, “I thought you wroteContinue reading “What do kindness and heaven have to do with one another? – Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness, Part 3”

The surprising efficacy of unkindness – Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness, Part 1

My wife recently shared a prayer request in a group text, and one person texted back, “No praying!”  Then a few seconds later the person wrote, “This phone has been killing me lately with autocorrect…that was supposed to be ‘NOW praying’.”  How many of you have had text messages auto-correct to something crazy? Something unsavory?Continue reading “The surprising efficacy of unkindness – Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness, Part 1”

The frustrating difficulty of kindness – Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness, Preview

“Just be kind!”  I can’t tell you how many times those three words have been uttered inside my house.  The reason why we have said those words so often over the years is because people in my house are not treating each other with kindness.  Usually this bad behavior is the outflow of sibling rivalryContinue reading “The frustrating difficulty of kindness – Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness, Preview”

How to encourage one another – Colossians 4:7-18, Part 1

Editor’s Note: This week I welcome David Hundert on the blog. David is an MDiv student and member of Faith Church. He preaches for me 3-4 times each year when I am away, and this past week I was my denomination’s national conference. Thank you, David! There is a story of a young man whoContinue reading “How to encourage one another – Colossians 4:7-18, Part 1”

How to speak graciously [even when you don’t want to] – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 5

I recently heard a story from a Mennonite pastor in my local ministerium.  Nearly 25 years ago, his wife tragically passed away.  One year before she passed away, she made the decision to discontinue wearing the traditional Mennonite head covering for women.  After she died, he got lots of support, but he also got twoContinue reading “How to speak graciously [even when you don’t want to] – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 5”

Clothe yourself with kindness and humility – Colossians 3:12-17, Part 2

How would you caption the photo above? “She got the whole world in her hands”? “She’s got a big head”? What I see is humility. I see a global focus, a focus that is bigger than oneself. I see a person that wants the world to be in the spotlight, not themself. (I wonder howContinue reading “Clothe yourself with kindness and humility – Colossians 3:12-17, Part 2”

How Christians need to be like the Human Carpet after the election – Current Events 2020 Q4, Part 5

Have you heard of the Human Carpet? He gets paid to go to parties where people can walk all over him.  They can jump on him.  Sit on him for hours.  Surf on him.  One time he did this for 11 straight hours! He wraps himself in a carpet, lays down and has never been hurtContinue reading “How Christians need to be like the Human Carpet after the election – Current Events 2020 Q4, Part 5”

How the surprise vine in my garden taught me about how Christians should live after the election – Current Events 2020 Q4, Part 4

This year we had a large vine growing in our garden. It was a vine we did not plant. I wondered if it was a weed, but it looked familiar, and it didn’t strike me as a weed. So we let it grow, and as the weeks went by we watched as this plant tookContinue reading “How the surprise vine in my garden taught me about how Christians should live after the election – Current Events 2020 Q4, Part 4”