Moments in the life of a Pastor

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Pandemic Perspective – Part 27 Kindness part 3

2 Timothy 1:15-18

You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus,because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.

Not only is kindness sensitive and supportive but the third characteristic of kindness is one we really don’t like to talk about:

3. Sacrificial

The truth is kindness will cost you. First you will have to sacrifice selfishness, you will never serve others as long as you are focused on self. Paul tells us that everyone from the province of Asia had deserted him even those he thought were close to him and cared. Why did they desert him, the same reason most of the disciples deserted Christ to save their own skin. Bringing kindness to Paul would have associated them with the prisoner. It could have ruined their reputation and caused them to also be put in chains. One of the biggest reasons we are not caring is because kindness costs. There is a price to pay. Onesiphorus was from Ephesus which is 1200 miles from Rome. It involved a long journey that cost him his time and treasure to bring kindness to Paul. So why did Onesiphorus risk his freedom and even his life to be kind to Paul because he remembered the price Christ paid for his freedom. When kindness is motivated by grace we will give, but when kindness is motivated by getting, how it will benefit me, we will only be kind as long as it serves self. Kindness is a gift that keeps on giving. But sadly, some of us instead of being kind are being mean in our marriages because the motivation behind your kindness is not grace but getting. You are not really looking to serve your spouse you are trying to serve self. Instead of trying to be a blessing you are trying to benefit. Some of you are being kind to your wife not to serve her but to get pleasure. But she instinctively knows that you are not interested in her heart and so she ignores your advances. Just like patience there is a price to kindness, but the price of not being kind is greater. How many of us are paying the price of not being kind, not just with our spouses but with our kids? True kindness is motivated by sacrificial service, it understands that not only is there a price to be payed but it is willing to pay it. Which brings us to the fourth characteristic of kindness: 

4. Searching

Kindness requires being intentional. I want you to notice that Onesiphorus didn’t just think kind thoughts, he went to Rome, and when he got there he searched everywhere until he found Paul.  Kindness doesn’t just happen we have to be intentional. We have to be willing to put our agendas aside and seek out those who need a touch of kindness. Here was a man that left his home to journey to the big city of Rome to share the kindness of God. When he got there, he had to search for Paul, which means he would have had to inquire about Paul the prisoner and risk being associated with him. We don’t know how long he had to search for Paul, but we do know that he found him and cared for him with kindness. So, who do you need to search out and share God’s kindness with? 


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Pandemic Perspective – Part 26 Kindness part 2

2 Timothy 1:15-18

You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus,because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.

So from a practical stand point what does kindness look like? In 2 Timothy 1:15-18 we see a Believer named Onesiphorus who lived out a love that was kind to the Apostle Paul at one of the more difficult times in his life. It’s here in 2 Timothy 1 that we see several characteristics of a kind person.

  1. Sensitive

First, kind people are sensitive to others. They are aware of the needs of those around them. We need to start paying attention to those around us so that we become aware of their needs. So how sensitive are you? We are all sensitive, the problem is that many of us are sensitive to self not to serving. That is why we live in a culture where people are so easily offended. We are not sensitive to the needs of others because we have become so self-sensitive that we are callous to the cares of others. Being sensitive means taking the time to tune in to the needs of others. Kindness always starts with sensitivity. Philippians 2:3-4 says: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4. How sensitive are you to the needs of others, how much time do you spend thinking about self and how much do you spend on serving? Kindness always starts with noticing what is going on in other people’s lives. But in order to do that you have to take your eyes of off yourself. Many of us have become so self-absorbed that we barely see those around us. When we go to the store we are usually on a mission but it’s not a mission of mercy but a mission for me. Can I share a sobering fact, everyone you meet this week needs kindness. From the person on the street, to the person sitting in the pew at church. Now I want you to realize that all of the people mentioned in this scripture were sensitive, it’s just that some were sensitivity to self and others were sensitive to serving. Paul was in prison and those he had ministered to and poured his life into had deserted him, they were so sensitive to self that they didn’t think about how their actions would affect Paul. But Onesiphorus was different he was focused on serving not self. Sensitivity opens up our sight to service. Jesus was so sensitive to the people around him that in the midst of a crowd of people while he was on mission to save a little girl he still felt the touch of a broken woman. He not only healed her physically but took the time to heal her emotionally as he listened to her story. That’s kindness in action. Jesus reminds us that we are never too busy or too important to be kind. But its hard to be sensitive because we see the hurts and deal with the brokenness. Sure emotionally it’s easier to be calloused Christian and not care but who does a calloused Christian really represent, the Savior or satan? What about you, are you sensitive to self or serving? Second not only was he sensitive but he was:

  1. Supportive

A second characteristic exhibited by kind people is supportiveness. This involves being supportive not just in what we do but what we say. Do your words build people up or belittling and tearing them down? One of the main reasons that marriages fail is because we are not supportive in our speech. Instead of speaking kindly our speech kills. Proverbs 15:1 says: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”Nobody likes to be put down. We may sing the silly children’s song, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” But it’s not true, names do hurt! Labels hurt! In fact, the Bible says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. You can destroy others with what you say to them or you can build them up and bless them. Something as simple as a smile can change a person’s day. How supportive are you with your spouse? When it comes to marriage many of us are competing instead of completing. Use your words wisely, instead of killing people with your words be kind. Give everyone you meet an emotional lift, encourage them and be supportive. Proverbs 3:3 says: “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.” How supportive are you in your speech? Do you encourage or discourage others with your words? Because where kindness is a bridge builder harsh words are a bridge burner.