ABC: Kind Words, Kind Ways

By Chris Baxter

The last few ABC posts have been: Helper, please Help, Invade me and Involve me, and Just for the Unjust. The next letter and phrase brings us to Kind Words, Kind Ways.

Kind Words, Kind Ways? Synopsis of 1 Kings 21:1-25; 2 Kings 9:30-37.

There once was a queen named Jezebel who reigned over Israel during the days of Elijah the prophet. She was an extremely evil queen who persuaded her husband, King Ahab, and all of Israel, to worship Baal. Unkind words and unkind ways continuously poured from Jezebel's heart. For example, she deliberately had an innocent man, Naboth, falsely accused and then stoned to death just so her husband Ahab could possess his piece of land in order to grow a vegetable garden. Jezebel's evil heart brought about much death and destruction in Israel; in the end, her own actions brought about her untimely and brutal demise.

Kind Words, Kind Ways! Synopsis of 1 Kings 17:1-16.

During this same time period, there was a widow who lived alone with her son. A severe drought had come over Israel due to God's judgment and Elijah's prayer. This woman was gathering sticks to build a fire for her and her son's last meal when the Elijah approached her. He said to her, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink…and bring me, please, a piece of bread." Although the woman had only a handful of flour and a little oil, she willingly prepared a small cake from what she had. As a result, Elijah said to her, "The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land." God daily blessed her for her kind words and kind ways.

What an extreme contrast between these two women! One was full of selfish ambition and the other was the picture of selflessness. My intentions may not ever be as evil as Jezebel's, but I do have to stop and ask myself:

What is the motive behind the things I think, say, and do?

Am I pushing others aside or manipulating a situation to get my own way?

Who can I be kind to today?

My prayer is that my words and ways would reflect that of the widow's, even when the situation is difficult or the circumstances are harsh. I must remember, kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. So really, if Christ lives in me, then through his Spirit, I can be kind (even to people that I might not think deserve it!).

Kindness is a choice.

Kindness softens hearts.

Kindness reflects God to others.

Today, intentionally choose kind words and kind ways. Ask the Lord to show you exactly who He wants you to bless; then ask Him to show you exactly what He wants you to say or do for this person. And then, do it. Your small portion and your act of faith, like the widow's, is all you need for the Lord to abundantly bless, not only the recipient, but your heart as well.

For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us... Titus 3:3-5

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Daily Prayer

Peace Giver

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:13

Dear Lord,

Help us to not view praying as a waste of our precious time. On the contrary, may we humbly realize that prayer multiplies our time because when we lift our requests to you, you do things more powerfully and efficiently than we could ever do on our own. The extra blessing is that we gain peace in our hearts and minds. So today Lord, with thanksgiving, we will take time to pray...Amen.