Reclaiming the spirituality of serving the other…

Another post about kindness…

I have written before about this issue– suggesting that I thought that kindness is a good measure of spiritual maturity. We talked a little around this the other night with my Aoradh chums.

Of course, being kind is not a universal sign of spiritual, or emotional health. The drive to please other people can be a destructive one. However, I still maintain that Christian spirituality that lacks kindness as one of its visible manifestations is likely also to be missing the point.

Which of course- is love.

The kind of love that is patient, kind and does not envy, boast, act proudly or haughtily. The sort of love that is not rude, or self-seeking, is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs. A love that does not delight in seeing evil in others but makes partnerships of truth. A protective, trusting, ever-hopeful kind of love that just does not give up. (1 Corinthians 13.)

The idealism of this kind of love defeats me at times- but it is an idealism that I will not let go.

So, if we Christians are called to be a blessing on the world around us because of the distinctiveness of our loving,  the way that this will be revealed is in this simple thing called kindness– expressed between ourselves in community, but also looking outwards into the places where we live work and play.

Here are links to a couple of resources that dig into this issue.

Firstly- Generous. This is an opportunity for Christians to sign up to acts of generosity- for the sake of the environment, and for the sake of others around us. There are whole categories of suggested actions that you can consider putting time/energy towards.

I came across Off The Map recently- a group trying to encourage us to reimagine evangelism- together they designed an approach to evangelism that “rescued it out of program prison, made it doable for ordinary Christians and restored it back to the spiritual practice Jesus modeled in his interactions with Outsiders.” They called it Doable Evangelism. This led to a book called Evangelism Without Additives and an organization called Doable Evangelism.

Here is some thing that they produced that resonated with me for its simplicity- and it’s kindness.

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more about “The spiritual discipline of serving“, posted with vodpod

2 thoughts on “Reclaiming the spirituality of serving the other…

  1. Hi Chris,

    There are many of differing faiths who exhibit kindness, even people who don’t believe in God at all. It seems to me, the kind of love Jesus spoke of and modeled was deadly. It cost him everything. He died for us while we were his enemies. This kind of love is radical and can only be expressed out of a relationship with the Holy Spirit. It’s impossible without God. And when we believers live and serve out of that kind of love, a love that says, I will love you, forgive you, serve you no matter what, it will transform the lives around us.

    I too am reaching for this same idealism, but it’s painful and expensive. The cost comes when I’m betrayed by a friend and the Lord says, “Will you love like I love?” I hate that question. Yet, I’m finding each time I say yes, I feel freer and even more of him seems to trickle through to the outside world. There are still plenty of “no”s”, however, like boulders in the stream impeding the flow. Mhairi

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