Kindness

photo by Nick Fewings

I started to write, “I like a good pun,” but many people would argue, “There is no such thing as a good pun.” However, here are three of my favorites:

  • What did the grape say when it got crushed? Nothing, it just let out a little wine.
  • I want to be cremated as it is my last hope for a smoking hot body.
  • Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

 Bad, aren’t they? Preachers seem to be especially fond of alliteration. Do you remember “God’s Garden”? The minister asks, “What do we find in God’s Garden? Lettuce. Let us pray. Let us sing. Let us … the list goes painfully on.”
 
Yesterday, we began looking at the Five Virtues the Apostle Paul told the Colossian Christians to “put on.” “Compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (3:12). Today, Tuesday, we’re going to focus on the second virtue: kindness. The ancient Greek preachers loved to preach about “Christos Chestos,” the “kindness of Christ.” Did you notice the one-letter difference between Christ and kindness? That makes this sermon a memorable pun.
 
The first definition of chestos, kindness, is “easy — that which causes no discomfort.” [1] For example, Jesus says, “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). The Lord was a carpenter, and if he made yokes for the oxen, I’m sure they weren’t mass-produced. I can see. Him lovingly crafting each one to custom fit each ox. The yokes were easy.
 
Serving Jesus is not a burden, and Paul says we shouldn’t be a burden to others either! Debbie Downer needs to learn this lesson. When Christians come into the room, they should come with a light. We don’t have time today to talk about the virtue of edification, but perhaps you’ll pull out your concordance and scan a few passages about it. We build people up!
 
The Greeks and the Jews also held up this virtue as an ideal. For them, it meant “being morally good and benevolent.” This person is “reputable” (1 Corinthians 15:33). They are “kind, loving, benevolent” (Ephesians 4:32; Luke 6:35).
 
So, today, “Lettuce be kind.”

Be a Blessing,



[1] Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). In A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 1090). University of Chicago Press.

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