North Santa Rosa

Living with Purpose

One of the first verses a child should learn when they attend Sunday School is “Be kind to one another…” (Eph. 4:32). It’s good for children to learn this early; for all of us are born with a selfish streak running down our backs. Unfortunately, some kids are never taken to Sunday School and some that are; often forget to put into practice this principle of cooperation in human existence. Kindness is the key component that would help people get along better, curb unnecessary anger, put a halt to gossip, and make people like you more. One of the greatest adventures in the world is being kind to others. Your enemies or antagonistic friends can be maimed by “killing them with kindness”. It’s hard to put a limit to the good that can come from just reaching out a hand to help somebody.
One of my first experiences of displayed kindness and its positive results happened years ago in elementary school. We were to have a very important test and the entire class had been preparing for it. I usually didn’t get nervous before exams in school, but I guess so much emphasis had been placed on it that I couldn’t help developing a nervous tension just thinking about it. As I watched the teacher’s aide slowly distribute the tests, my anxiety increased. Before signing my name to the page, I happened to look up at my teacher, Ms. Hullett. She gave me the nicest, kindest smile. There was warmness in her spirit and it radiated from her face to mine. This simple, but caring smile helped calm my own spirit and I settled down from a frightened tense school kid to one who had confidence that our rehearsals, flash cards, and practice tests had me ready to proceed.
Ephesians 4:28-32 says, “…give to those who need help. Watch your talk! No bad words should be coming from your mouth. Say what is good. Your words should help others grow as Christians. Do not make God’s Holy Spirit have sorrow for the way you live…put out of your life all these things: bad feelings about other people, anger, temper, loud talk, bad talk, and bad feelings which hurt other people. You must be kind to one another. Think of the other person. Forgive others just as God forgave you.”
Perhaps this is the root to many of our relationship problems in society. The lost art of kindness is fading away from our daily routine like a sun slowly setting along the horizon. Before losing the beauty of living we need to take time for others. It’s not a difficult chore. In fact, being kind to friends, family, and strangers require we do just four (4) specific things. First, be Considerate of others. Those who disregard the feelings and rights of others are often the first to complain when their own accomplishments go unnoticed. The Bible says, “Put on…mercies, kindness, and humbleness…forgiving one another…” (Col. 3:12-13). Take time to consider the feelings, regard the rights, and notice the accomplishments of others. This is essential to positive personal growth for your own life. Secondly, be Concerned about others. Too many of us are self-centered, overly concerned with our pains, problems, and personal pursuits. 1 John 3:17 says, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need, but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” Practice feeling concerned for the needy, unsaved, afflicted, and comfort the grieving. Showing concern for others and practicing love makes you feel good inside. Thirdly, be Cooperative with others. Many families and churches are like a team of horses pulling in opposite directions. The only thing that’s accomplished in this situation is a worn spirit and confusion. Choose to work together in unity and harmony and ask God for direction in what you need to do. When you do this, the potential for success is greatly increased for you and those that affect you. “We work together with God…don’t receive God’s loving-favor and then waste it” (2 Cor. 6:1).
Finally, be Christ-like toward others. “Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us” (Eph. 5:2). We want to be happy, but much unhappiness among people is caused by the holding of resentments. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about different personalities or relationships problems, it’s the need to persistently pursue a commonality among the one you’re at odds with. Differences and disagreements are normal, even healthy. But when you’re stuck in a “rut” or feel trapped by your circumstances, focus not on the negative or differences, but seek some mutual agreement or some small thing you do agree on. Let that one thing be the root of your communication with them. When you do, a spirit of cooperation develops and you can grow to appreciate the differences in one another, recognize all people’s worth, and perhaps shatter a close-mindedness within yourself.
Remember, a person totally committed to faith is cleansed, forgiven, and filled with Go’s love. And when you have love, you CAN “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, and able to forgive”. Considerate, concerned, cooperative, and Christ-like; possess these characteristics and a friend will never be far away. See you in church on Sunday!
• This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Oct 6 2013. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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