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Jesus and Ruth: Kindness in Action

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Kindness Day 2
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“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:14-15

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Mother Teresa

 

  • It’s time to meet with your beautiful Savior who loves you more than you could ever know or comprehend this side of heaven!  He is the One who “tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11). Take a moment to give Him all of your concerns about your children; thank Him for gently leading you with your little ones.
  • Grab your Bible, journal, pen and something delicious to drink and read John 13: 1-17 and Ruth 2:11-13. Write John 13:14-15 in your journal.

Jesus and Ruth: Kindness in Action

What does the Bible say about kindness? I have two personal favorites that illustrate the concept of kindness beautifully:

The first and the best example is always Jesus. I love how He lived what He taught. John 13:14-15 is a wonderful example of Jesus’s heart of kindness:

“I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet. So you also should wash one another’s feet. I have given you an example. You should do as I have done for you.”

In this passage, Jesus showed His love to His disciples by washing each of their dirty, dusty feet – all 12 men, which adds up to 120 toes!

This includes Peter and Judas. Jesus knew the end of the story. He knew Peter would deny him and Judas would betray him.

Jesus still chose to perform an intimate act of kindness for these two men. He lovingly put their needs above his own by washing their very dirty feet.

We are called to be kind to one another in this exact way. Jesus wants us to do for others as He has done. He calls us to put the needs of others first. We are to be loving, compassionate, gentle, sacrificing, and friendly – and not just for those who are kind to us. We are even called to love our enemies and pray for them (Matthew 5:44).

This includes the people in your life who criticize you, gossip about you and act generally unkind. We don’t have to be best friends with them, but we are called to love them and pray for them.

Another inspiring example of kindness is Ruth. If you have time, read the entire book. It’s short. Ruth was a widow who moved to a foreign land to live among her Mother-in-Law’s people. Time after time, Ruth chose to listen to Naomi, treating her with kindness and respect while providing food.

Since Ruth was a widow, she could have chosen bitterness and sadness. Instead, she worked hard in the fields and gained a reputation among the locals of one who was kind. Because Ruth chose to be kind to Naomi, Boaz chose to be kind to Ruth. Ruth was blessed with a Kinsman Redeemer and a husband to love and provide for her. Ruth 3:10 gives us insight into Ruth’s reputation of kindness.

“And he (Boaz) said, “May you be blessed by the LORD, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.” Let’s all look to Ruth for an example of rising above our circumstances and choosing kindness first.

When it comes to raising my own two daughters, I want to raise women who love God, and out of that love is a river of kindness that exudes from their being. It’s a tall order. I know. I feel like I fail every day.

I struggle with being kind in the thick of parenting – when the sixth huge mess has been made that day, or when Astrid pulls Ruby’s hair. Again. I know that my actions in these key moments are crucial, but let’s face it, sometimes I snap. I yell at my girls. I am not kind. I pray and seek guidance every single day.

There are some days that feel like a constant prayer, but let me tell you something. I am kinder than I was a year ago. Choosing to walk with Jesus during my struggles has given me ample opportunity to become a nicer mom. I am grateful I am trusting God right now.

It comes down to making a choice. Will we choose to treat people with kindness like Jesus? Will we have a reputation of kindness like Ruth? I know the choice to be kind sometimes is not the easiest or the most effective, but the impact you will make on those around you is worth it.

 

Questions to Ponder

  • Pray and ask God to help you to love and forgive the people in your life who have hurt you. Then pray this prayer from the Steps to Freedom in Christ by Neil Anderson aloud:

Lord Jesus, I choose to forgive (name the person) for (What he or she did or failed to do) because it made me feel (share the painful feelings; i.e. rejected, dirty, worthless, inferior, etc).

Faith-Filled Idea

  • Perform 1 Random Act of Kindness (RAOK) this week. Buy a stranger coffee. Write a note to your pastor. Take a meal to a sick or elderly neighbor. Help your child invite a new friend over to play. Get your kids involved in your action. Kindness begets kindness. When we show kindness, it allows the power of God to shine in people’s lives. Be a great example for your little people.

Kindness day 3

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.

Leslie Leonard

Leslie is originally from Utah but has lived everywhere from our nations Capitol to California. She currently lives in Georgia. She is a proud mom and military wife. She is a voracious reader who loves to go to the movies but has time for neither due to her two small daughters.
Leslie has known Jesus almost as long as she has known her husband.
She loves Jesus, her husband, her two daughters, coffee and her dachshund Oscar Myer.
Her favorite bible verse is 2 Corinthians 4:8 "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed or broken. We do not give up and quit."

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11 Comments

  1. Leslie, thank you for sharing from your heart about kindness and your humble approach in sharing how the Lord is changing you day by day! I don’t think so often about how I need to be kind to my children but consider how to encourage my kids to be more kind to each other. What a humble swallow to realize Kindness begets kindness and I need to set the tone- maybe with the Lords help in this area, I will see more of the fruit of kindness in my home too! You are right in that as we approach the throne of grace and ask the Lord to refine us, He is faithful to do it!

    • The Lord is so wonderful in helping us grow through our weaknesses. I know I am a work in progress but that is okay!

  2. This is such a wonderful Bible study Leslie!! I love how you brought out the qualities of kindness in Jesus and Ruth!! I pray that I can be more kind like them as well!

  3. Thanks, Leslie, for the reminder to be kind. I think of my children. They’re not always kind to me, whether or not they realize it. I choose to believe that responding with kindness will yield a greater long term effect than my reactive yelling and lecturing.

    • My kids are not always kind either. I am trying to show the example in my home on how to react in situations. If I am kind, I hope that they will react in kindness too.

  4. Leslie, I love your writing. I love your honesty and how you apply scripture to your your situation.

    I love this study and how it has evolved! The format is simple, the mommy tips are helpful, and I think it will be great for building community. Most importantly, everything is biblically-centered.

    • Thank you for your kind words Heather!
      I have made and will continue to make a lot of mistakes as a mom but the more I focus on Jesus and scripture I find everyday a little easier.

  5. Hi Deb! I’m finally getting here to add my comments. I love all of the information, study and tips in your Help Club for Moms. The experience and wisdom you offer speaks volumes to me. I’ve incorporated many of these helps in our home, since joining your support group for moms at High Country. They are truly a gift for moms at any age and stage, and I’m grateful for them. Your heart for young moms is apparent and you’ve done a beautiful job getting the online Bible study up and running! I really can’t offer any more thoughts regarding the content, given all of the poignant insight others have already added. I do have a few comments about the general web site. I love the colors and pictures. They evoke a calm spirit, which we all need! The list on the left is helpful for navigating the site, and I appreciate the print friendly formats for each study. It’s really neat that you can hover over a topic and see a quote pertaining to that particular study. They quickly prepare your mind for the topic. The following suggestions have to do with design and editing. If you’re still working on these, please ignore everything I have to say. HAHA! The home page where all of the Study Titles are listed feels a little busy to me. Perhaps you could list each week’s title with only one picture, instead of four. You might even make the pictures pertain to the topic. For example the week on Husbands could show a husband and wife walking together. Or the week on Kindness could have a picture of a mom kissing her child near a puddle of spilled milk. Also, each week header (Kindness, Thoughts, etc) could hold a bit more prominence, whereas the Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Mommy Tips titles/links could be listed under each header. I wonder if a little bit of copy editing on each study page might help with the organization, flow and consistency. Please call me if I’ve not made sense regarding the design suggestions, as it’s hard to state it strictly in writing. I hope these comments are helpful! (I love, love, love this entire project!!!)

    • I LOVE these ideas Julie! Thank you so much for them! I agree with the busyness. It’s challenging to try to figure out a way to share them on the page. I like your idea about the pictures being more relavant. My son will kill me if I make him change them! I can look at my source for pics and see if that type of thing would be better:)
      You are so kind to take so much time to comment! 🙂

  6. A suggestion about the website is a functional one. When I click on each day of the study the screen is blank. For a moment I think…where is the study. Then I remember I need to scroll down a bit to make it visible. If I were to click on a day of the study and it was instantly visible so I didn’t need to “hunt for it” this would make the site flow more easily.

    I really like the supplemental videos you have attached. If one of the side bars on the home page included all past video links that would be a great resource!

    • I agree Lisa about the disappearing screen. lol. I am not sure, but that might be a part of the website function. I will look into it:)
      Thanks so much!!!!

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