Choosing Rain

By Chris Baxter

Are you struggling with a relationship right now– a friendship, a parent/child relationship, your marriage?

This may sound too simple, but try kindness. Think of your kind words as much needed raindrops falling on a thirsty flower. Very practically, just as a flower cannot survive without water, neither can your relationship survive without kindness.

First of all, be willing to humbly push aside any stubbornness, pride, or unforgiveness that exists in your own heart concerning the one you are struggling with. This attitude only keeps the air thick and the clouds dark between you both. Ask yourself, “Am I happy with these ill-feelings; really, am I happy being miserable?” If the answer is “no”, then go ahead, choose to rain drops of kindness:

Say to your friend, “Thanks for walking life with me.” (then, compliment him/her on a specific character quality)

Say to your son or daughter, “You are AWESOME!” (then, be sure not to add “but” to this statement)

Say to your husband before he leaves for work, “You’re lookin’ good today, baby.” (then, smile)

It’s amazing what a few uplifting words can do for a thirsty soul. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if kindness was the instigator in saving your relationship? Are you willing? Just try it for a period of time–not just for a day, especially if your relationship has been in a drought for years. Choose a sprinkling throughout each day, every day, until it becomes a habitual part of your relationship.

Now if you are saying to yourself, “No way, impossible, I can’t or won’t do this,” here’s another simple concept: ask God for help. Remember, the fruit of His Spirit is…kindness. (Gal. 5:22) In His kindness, He died for you. Now He wants to (and certainly can!) live through you, but only if you are willing. So reader, if you want to be determined in your relationship, I challenge you to be determined in a new way… decide to speak life-giving words into the heart of another. Likewise, if you want to be strong-willed in your relationship, then do so with a new purpose. Uncompromisingly say to yourself concerning your friend, your child, or your spouse, “The drought is over…today, it’s gonna rain.”

She opens her mouth in wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Pr. 31:26

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Daily Prayer

It takes obedience

(Paul defends himself before Agrippa), "So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. This is why the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. But I have had God's help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to the small and great alike." Acts 26:19-22

Dear Lord,

When we hear from you, whether it's directly from your word or through someone's biblical teaching or by the prompting of your Spirit, give us the desire to obey your commands. Make us willing to speak about who you are so others can come to know you as Savior. Prevail in, through, and around us. Amen.