Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

kindness Archive



August 2019

Practical ways to live your faith

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"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) Practical ways to live your faith | Read more at hopereflected.com

Sometimes it’s the things we don’t say that have the biggest impact

Sometimes it is the things that we don’t say that have the biggest impact on the lives of others. The old adage “actions speak louder than words” is very true, especially when it comes to living out your faith. Your peers aren’t interested in how you are on Sunday; however, they will notice if how you are on Sunday is different than the other days of the week. We shouldn’t be any different on Wednesday or Thursday than we are on the Sabbath.

So what are some practical ways to live your faith?

Practical ways to live your faith

Be kind

Be kind. As early as the book of Genesis, we read about the virtue of kindness. In Genesis 24, we read about Abraham’s servant praying that the Lord will show kindness to Abraham. This theme of kindness carries through the Old Testament, in the histories of Joseph, Joshua, Ruth, David, Esther, Jonah, and into the New Testament. Kindness is a very practical way to live your faith. We’re instructed many times in the Bible to show kindness to others, “…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12). And it’s no wonder, as kindness is one of God’s many beautiful attributes (Titus 3:4). As Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Live your faith by being humble

There’s also humility, and we all know that being humble is hard to do. We get caught up in who’s right, who should get credit, and who deserves to come out on top, but as Ezra Taft Benson once said, “Pride is concerned with who is right, humility is concerned with what is right.” Many times throughout the epistles, Paul encourages Christians to be humble, which indicates to me that humility is important, and also something that we need to be constantly reminded about. In Ephesians 4:2, Paul writes that we should walk worthy, “with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.” With all lowliness and meekness, not just some, not just when it’s convenient, not just when you don’t have a vested interest in the outcome of a situation. Humility is a habit, and it’s another practical way of living your faith.

Practice patience

Patience, or longsuffering as Paul calls it, is another practical way of living your faith. Psalm 37:7 says that we should “Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for him;” and whoever said waiting isn’t work clearly wasn’t doing it right. Aristotle once said that, “patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” Scripture shows us that we should demonstrate patience in many areas of our lives: In decisions (Psalm 37:7), in afflictions and trials (Romans 12:12), in love (1 Corinthians 13:4), in doing good (Galatians 6:9), even with one another (Ephesians 4:2). If you’re tempted to lose patience, just remember how patient God is with you. Don’t lose heart! You can be a living demonstration of God’s power when you learn to practice patience. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Faither which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Kindness, humility, and patience are just a few of the practical ways that to live your faith.  

Originally published as “Practical ways to live your faith.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. May 9, 2019: 6. Print. Web.



November 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | It Costs Nothing to Be Kind

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Always be kind. | See more hopereflected.com

“Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.” Proverbs 11:17

It costs nothing to be kind. Even on our bad days, our sad days, and yes, even on our mad days, it costs nothing to extend the gift of kindness to another.

In the New International Version, Proverbs 11:17 says that “those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.” In the New King James Version, the verse reads, “the merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”

The merciful man.

Kindness and mercy. When you show kindness to another, in a way, you’re showing them mercy. Mercy is defined as not getting something you deserve, and when it’s put like that, we could almost interpret that Proverbs 11:17 is instructing us to show kindness even to those people who don’t deserve it. What a challenge!

“Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.” Proverbs 11:17




February 2017

Hope Reflected | 3 ways to be kind: Words of truth from the book of Ephesians

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

3 ways to be kind: Words of truth from the book of Ephesians hope reflected

3 ways to be kind: Words of truth from the Book of Ephesians

If you’ve been anywhere on social media, you’re aware of the whirlwind of emotions that people have been feeling leading up to – and during – the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. Self-proclaimed political pundits, Wes and I were especially interested in the events of the past week, in which we realized the dawn of a new era. Some think that the new President is bad news, others think he’s a breath of fresh air; no matter what you’re feeling about the new President, pretty much everyone has an opinion.

With recent political happenings, it’s been interesting to see and hear the reactions of friends on both sides of the border. One thing is glaringly clear: In the midst of opening up about opinions, people need to learn how to express their thoughts without discriminating and showing intolerance. Too often, the people crying out for justice and equality are the very ones unwilling to demonstrate those same virtues to others of differing opinions.

In reading the book of Ephesians, a book in the Bible the basis of which is the unity of the Church, I am moved by the many practical examples that the book of Ephesians shows of how to cultivate kindness in everyday life.

Each of us could do with more kindness – both on the giving and receiving ends. To cultivate kindness in your own life, consider these three ways to be kind:

  1. Practice patience. “Be patient.” Ephesians 4:2 In the KJV, ‘longsuffering’ is the word. Longsuffering is defined as “having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people”. It’s not always easy to be patient with others – when you’re working on a deadline, when the kids are goofing off instead of doing what you asked, when you’re feeling anxious – but we need to show grace to others (as well as ourselves).
  2. Show compassion. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 In some versions the word ‘tenderhearted’ is replaced with ‘compassionate’, and here’s what that means: To be tenderhearted or compassionate means to be concerned for others, and to be sympathetic. Rather than looking in all the time and being concerned with your own best interests, get into the practice of looking out (and up!) and try putting others first. It can be as simple as opening a door for someone or letting a car cut in front of you in traffic.
  3. Stand firm. “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…” Ephesians 6:14 Many people have a misconception that being kind means you have to be weak or let yourself get walked over by others who have a stronger voice than you. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Being kind requires us to stand firm in what we believe. You’ve heard the saying, “speak the truth in love,” and when you’re cultivating kindness, you’re speaking the truth, in love, standing firm on what you know to be true.

We don’t have to agree on everything – or anything, for that matter – to be kind to one another. Remember, you are always responsible for how you act, no matter how you feel. Don’t underestimate how even the smallest of kind actions can impact the life of another. As Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Wherever you are, cultivate kindness.

Originally published as “3 ways to be kind: Words of truth from the book of Ephesians.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. January 25, 2017: 7. Print.