I’ve gotten back on track with my regular reading schedule, for the most part. I am currently reading two new books.
Love Kindness is a great book so far. It examines what kindness is (and isn’t), how Christians are expected to live out this virtue, and some side effects of not practicing this virtue.
In the Introduction, Corey states,
Kindness has become far too often a forgotten virtue. Christians often bypass kindness to begin a shouting match, or we just talk among ourselves about how awful the other side is. We have ranted before we’ve related, deeming the latter too soft on sin. Christians – and I’ve seen this especially in American Christians in recent years -have employed the combative strategy, and it’s not working. (Love Kindness, p. xii)
A little later, he describes kindness,
Kindness is strong yet humble. Kindness is honesty and looks like truth with love… This is our challenge: living from a Christ-centered core that spills out into a life of kindness. It’s a life with a firm center and soft edges. (Love Kindness, p. xvi)
Should we all be expected to practice kindness?
But the Bible never talks about kindness as a gift you either have or you don’t. It describes kindness as a fruit of the Spirit, a virtue that is meant to grow from all Christians even when other people don’t like the kindness they see in us. (Love Kindness, p. 7)
One point that Corey makes, that I think is so simple, yet so profound, is this concept of receivability. It seems we as Christians work to be received, but that doesn’t always happen. Our goal should be on being receivable, and not focused on whether we are received.
… the objective of the receivable life is not to be received, but to be receivable. The goal of the kind life is not to be thanked; it is to be obedient. Whether or not the grocery clerk or the college professor received my overtures of kindness should not be my concern. Jesus never said we would be received. He simply said we need to make ourselves receivable – that is, to remove the distance or the obstacles that keep others from seeing Jesus within us. (Love Kindness, p. 7)
Corey continues on, introducing characteristics that are kindness.
Authenticity is kindness because it allows other to see our struggles rather that hiding them behind feigned perfection. Authenticity is kindness when it admits our imperfections and uncertainties, our fears and anxieties. (Love Kindness, p.14)
How we interact with others has such an impact.
The kinder way is to be present in others’ lives wit an honest spirit that isn’t waiting for the conversation to turn toward me. That’s a spirit that receives others more that is wants to be received. (Love Kindness, p. 38)
I’m half way through the book, and honestly I could share so many snippets, but I’ll end with this one for now.
When civility and humility stop being marks of a Christian, the salt has lost its savor and the light has been hidden under a bushel. (Love Kindness, p. 46)