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Proverb 11: 17         NIV

Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

Let’s begin our meditation on this verse by thinking of synonyms for cruel. The word that stands out for me is mean, but there are others, everything from brutal to unpleasant and harsh. Just being harsh or hard can turn the tide against us. Kindness, habitual kindness, brings rain in its season, a ripe harvest and other benefits.

We do not live in a world which is kind. Yet, you can see kindness some places and some people overwhelm with their kindness. This verse puts us in mind that kindness benefits us as much as the benefit we do to others. Kindness should be its own reward, I suppose, but it is also seed which, when planted, yields a crop. That crop, however, is a harvest of multiple benefits. Not only do you reap kindness, but other good crops come up in your garden too.

So here is the rub, as I see it. I cannot do this on my own. I know people, you do too, you radiate kindness. In fact, you are some of those very people. For me, though, it is only Christ within me that exudes those wonderful traits. But for Jesus, I would not be able to demonstrate the very characteristics I value. If I am not spending enough time with my Father, then I don’t act with temperance and gentleness.

When a pastor reads this verse, the first thought is to encourage everyone to be kind. However, you already have that desire for yourself. What we all need is more Christ in our life. If I spend a lot of time in the world and watching the news, etc., then I can promise my kindness and gentleness factor is going to decrease. Then, as I sow less kindness, I am going to reap less kindness and other benefits. So, sure, I want to encourage you to be kind but I also want to empower you to do so. It is the grace of our Father that helps us and spending time with Him is the way to release more of His presence in your life.

Proverb 11:,NIV

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