Kindness, Examples Of: A Hardened Heart Softened
A gentleman saw a boy thief in his flower garden. He went forth quietly in a roundabout way to meet the boy and, coming up behind him, laid his hand on the boy's shoulder, saying: "Now, my boy, answer me one question: Which is the best flower in my garden?" The boy, finding no escape, looked around and after a few minutes' pause, said, "That rose is best," as he pointed to a beautiful moss rose. The gentleman, still keeping one hand on the boy's shoulder, reached out his other hand and, plucking the rose in all its beauty, gave it to the boy. As he released him he said, "There, take it, my boy." The boy was amazed. Looking into the face of his strange benefactor, he said, "Ain't you going to have me punished, sir?" "No," was the reply; "but as I am going to give you the best flower in my garden, you will never steal from my flower beds again, will you?" "Never, sir, as long as I live," was the emphatic reply; "but, please, sir, ain't there some little errand I can do for you?"
Free forgiveness and a token of love had won the hardened boy's heart, and from that hour he was the willing servant of his friend.
Remember that a kind word turns away wrath. It can also change other people's attitudes.
Being kind in a world that has lost the virtue of kindness is hard enough. Being kind to our brothers and sisters in the Lord is sometimes even harder. Because we are around Christians most often that is where our battlefield of kindness is most often put to the test. I want to share a teaching with you on taking up the towel. Remember when Jesus washed the disciple's feet? That was a very important act that teaches us many important things. It is not just about being humble, but about being kind and forgiving of our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Taking Up The Towel
There is a traditional service that some churches in the States have and it is called a foot washing service. It is a church service where people wash one another's feet. The origin of this service they have taken from a passage from John 13 where Jesus washed the disciples feet.
He told them "if I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another's feet ." Unfortunately these types of services sometimes become a tradition and the true meaning of foot washing is lost. After Jesus washed the disciples feet he asked them, "Do you know what I've just done for you?" In other words, do you know the SPIRITUAL significance of what I have done in washing your feet? I don't think that Jesus was starting an ordinance that must be observed by the church such as communion or baptism when He did this. Otherwise I believe that He would have submitted to a foot washing Himself, as He did when He was baptized and ate communion with His disciples. All the commentaries I have seen comment on this scene by saying that Jesus was trying to teach His disciples humility by His example to them. But I believe that this is only part of the truth of what Jesus was trying to teach His disciples, and us.
I believe that what Jesus is trying to teach us in this passage is that He wants us to "take up the towel". Many times we read Scripture and do not search hard enough for it's deep meanings. All Scripture is inspired by God and has layer upon layer of deep meaning. For example, Scripture tells us "... by love serve one another" (Gal. 5:13) and "Submit yourselves one to another in the fear of the God" (Eph. 5:21) It may be easier to picture how we can submit to one another for instance in marriage between a wife and husband or for children to submit to their parents. But how can we submit to each other as the body of Christ? I believe that we can understand this better by looking at this how Jesus taught us to "take up the towel". Submitting to each other in love and