The other day, on the Christian radio station, they discussed the characteristics of happy children. Apparently, a study was conducted, and research shows kids who are kinder are generally happier. A short discussion on this study ensued, and the general consensus was: 1) We are happier when we are less focused on ourselves, and, 2) We are happiest when we are most acting like God, or, in other words, when we are allowing Him to freely work and love through us.
Today, Proverbs Study member Beth Farley brings this truth home with her devotion on Proverbs 11:17:
Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel (NLT).
Nourishing Your Soul by Beth Farley
I was in the store the other day looking at the various moisturizers. My skin is so incredibly dry this season. Since I work at a library, I am constantly washing my hands. I am digging into bins to rescue germy books that need to be returned to the shelves. I also work with patrons all day long that have been sneezing or coughing, so for me, the hand sanitizer and frequent washing is a MUST.
Well, when I was in the bathroom the other day, God’s word came to me. I was looking at the ingredients of the hand cream that someone donated and it highlighted the word nourishing. The cream stated that it was suitable for all skin types and had hand selected ingredients that protected the skin.
When I was reading Proverbs 11:17; I started to recall those ingredients and thought about my spiritual walk God. When I am kind to others, especially in my job, when I can be dealing with some really not-so-nice people, my soul is being nourished. When I go out of my way, come out of my boundaries and am nice to others and helpful to others, I am nourishing my soul and being protected by God. I know in studying the book of Proverbs we’ve talked a lot about obedience, but if I may, let me remind us today that walking in kindness(love) is one of God’s desires, Love is the first fruit of the Spirit; but also kindness is in there as well. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. NIV.
How are you going to walk today? Are you going to carry around a nourished soul knowing that your inner ingredients have been hand selected just for you?
How can you apply this kindness to your day today? Are you dealing with a cranky boss? Sick children? Impatient husband? Needy friend? My dear sisters, we must walk in kindness and allow the nourishment to flow through us. We don’t know what God’s up to but we can trust that He’s hand selected his day for us to walk with HIM.
I am praying for each one of you!
Beth Ann Farley is a dear friend of mine and one of our Yahoo Bible Study group members. She is married with three grown children. She lives in Kansas City, MO where she serves as librarian. She loves to read, write, decorate and spend as much time as possible outside with her Peek-A-Poo. Beth is a lover of the Lord. “He is my-everything and I can’t start a day without visiting with Him.” Beth came to know the Lord when she was 30 years old and has served Him on committee’s such as Missions Outreach, Local Missions, Diaconate Committee, Youth Committee, and was a church secretary for several years. Beth loves Women’s Bible Studies, has hosted several in each one of her homes that she has lived in and has led a few as well. Beth is now taking time in life to move forward with her writing in whatever way God directs her.
Visit her online at: http://firsthalfday1.wordpress.com/
Let’s talk about this! Beth asked some thought-provoking, and hopefully, action-initiating questions:
How can you apply this kindness to your day today? Are you dealing with a cranky boss? Sick children? Impatient husband? Needy friend?
Join me at Living by Grace as we talk about living out our faith by demonstrating Christ’s love and the soul-reaching nourishment this provides.