A Fruit a Day…Demonstrating Kindness

A Fruit a Day…Demonstrating Kindness

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” Quote by Aesop.

Today’s study on the fruits of the Spirit looks at the virtue of kindness.

Merriam Webster Definitions and Synonyms of Kindness

  • an act of kind assistance 
  • the capacity for feeling for another’s unhappiness or misfortune
  • sympathetic concern for the well-being of others
  • courtesy, grace, mercy, bigheartedness, compassion, humanity, sympathy, charity

Definitions and Synonyms of Kindness from Lexicon and Concordance by E.W Bullinger

  • active beneficence in spite of ingratitude
  • benevolence, benignity, philanthropy

Greek word for Kindness

The ancient Greek word for kindness is chréstotés. It has the connotation of “meeting needs”. I find this really interesting because it means that kindness is not just being polite to someone but it is also meeting their need. When I tapped my husband’s brain for his interpretation of chréstotés, here was his thoughtful response, “It has the basic sense of excellent, useful, serviceable and adapted to a purpose; in other words, the shades of meaning for the Greek word ‘chréstotés’ involve practical and useful service, not just kindly feelings as we might think from the English word ‘kindness'”.

Favorite Verse on Kindness

  • Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart”. Proverbs 3:3

Final thoughts on Kindness

I usually think of kindness as generically being nice to someone else. But it goes much deeper than this. There is an element of empathy where we feel what the other person is going through. When we extend an act of kindness, we are connecting on a level that draws us into the world of the other person and this expresses the notion  “I understand”. It is not always possible to completely relate to what other people are going through but empathy and generosity are certainly facets of kindness.

The person who is receiving the act of kindness may not always be deserving or grateful. This can turn us off from wanting to help further. But kindness overlooks weaknesses in others and is gracious towards someone despite their flaws. More and more, I see God’s grace towards my own failings and I wonder where I would be if he did not extend his kindness and mercy towards me daily.

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A Fruit a Day…A Sense of Peace

A Fruit a Day…A Sense of Peace

Welcome back to our study on the fruits of the Spirit. Now that we have tackled the fruits of love and joy, let’s move on to the next one…PEACE!

My thoughts on Peace

When I think of peace, the first thing that comes to mind is a state of serenity. I imagine a still place at the center of a whirlwind where nothing is moving, nothing is being disturbed, it is perfectly at rest despite the turmoil going on around it.

Merriam-Webster Definitions of Peace

My favorite definitions are listed below:

  • a state of tranquility or quiet
  • freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
  • harmony in personal relations

Greek word for Peace

My husband is my go-to person when it comes to finding out the etiology of words because he has a great love of ancient languages such as Greek and Hebrew. When I asked him about the word ‘peace’ last night, he enthusiastically leafed through one of his ancient Greek Lexicons. The ancient Greek word for peace is eiréné (phonetic spelling ‘i-ray-nay’). It alludes to a sense of harmony, concord, security and safety. Peace also has roots in the word eirō, which means “to join, tie together into a whole“. I like this definition because it gives me the sense that when we are at peace, we are whole.

Fun facts about Peace

  • The ancient Greek word for peace was originally used to depict a state of calm or cessation of fighting during war-time. It is only more recently that peace has been associated with relationships, thoughts, etc.
  • The Hebrew word for peace “Shalom” was used as a greeting to indicate “peace be with you”. It also connoted a sense of harmony, completeness, prosperity, and welfare.

Favorite verse on Peace

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Phil 4:6-7.

Final thoughts on Peace

I don’t always find it easy to be at peace with current circumstances. Sometimes it seems there’s no way out and circumstances are hopeless. But I’m hoping to develop an attitude of peace even in those moments. I like the definition of peace regarding freedom from oppressive thoughts. It gives me the idea that even though there is turmoil around us, it is still possible to find a place of peace.

As I write this, I just read a comment from a fellow blogger who is going through a really hard time in her family. My heart feels heavy for her and I would just like to take this moment to share some peace with her. You know who you are. You are a strong woman with a beautiful family and you will make it through this difficult time. Peace be with you.

“Shalom…does not mean merely the absence of strife. It is pregnant with positive, active and energetic meaning and association. It connotes totality, health, wholesomeness, harmony, success, the completeness and richness of living in an integrated social milieu. When people meet or part they wish each other shalom, or they inquire about eachother’s shalom”.-William Chomsky from “Hebrew, the eternal language”

Image courtesy of dan at freedigitalphotos.net
Image courtesy of dan at freedigitalphotos.net