November 24, 2009

Daily Devotional 11/24/09 Responding With a Kind Heart

From: From His Heart

To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit, not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9

How do you react when someone is rude to you? Do you return evil for evil… insult for insult… rudeness for rudeness? Do you have a tendency to tear people up with your tongue?
One known for his sharp tongue was Sir Winston Churchill. One day his nemesis, Lady Aster, said in disgust, “Sir Winston, if you were my husband, I would put arsenic in your tea.” To which Churchill quickly replied, “And Lady Aster, if I were your husband, I would gladly drink it.” What a classic example of evil for evil, insult for insult.

The Lord tells us that we are to give a blessing EVEN when someone insults us. He says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). Truly, “a gentle answer turns away wrath” (Prov. 15:1).

When you are kindhearted, you respond to people by cutting them some slack and giving them the benefit of the doubt. Remember, rude, mean people are that way for a reason. Like the lion with a thorn in his paw, mean, angry folks have a deep hurt in their lives… that is why they are mean, cruel and argumentative. Kindness always tries to see things from the other’s perspective. Kindness always responds with patience, gentleness and understanding.

Let’s be honest, many homes are filled with insults. Brothers and sisters insult each other… spouses so often are mean and cutting with each other. What happened to “home, home on the range… where seldom is heard a discouraging word?” The good news is this: you can change the atmosphere in your home by keeping your tongue from insults… and giving a blessing instead.

Remember, when Jesus was dying on the cross, being laughed at and reviled, He did not revile in return. He prayed for those who crucified Him. His response of blessing for curses surprised the crowd. That hardened Roman Centurion who oversaw His death was so moved by His response that he declared, “Truly this was the Son of God!” WOW!

With all those you come in contact with today, make a special point of giving them a blessing. Compliment them on something they do well. Encourage them in their daily life. Take criticism… learn from it… and bless the person who was mean to you. You will be amazed at how God will work when you do things His way.

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