|The Path of Kindness (Part 2 of 'The Way of Joy')|
|Written by David Charlton|
"You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. 14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. 15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
Summary and Function
Summary: Sit back and think about all the mean people you know. I’m talking about the people who almost never do or say anything nice. Now, ask yourself, do these people have any joy? The answer will be no. There’s a direct relationship between joy and kindness. The less you have of one, the less you have of the other. The more you have of one, the more you have of the other.
Jesus commands us to ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ Jesus commands this, not only because it’s the right thing, but also because it is what’s best for us. The more we do this the more we will have joy!
This, of course, begins with loving ourselves. If we love ourselves we’ll expect others to treat us with respect and love. This will motivate us to treat others with respect and love. It is not, however, always easy to love others as we want to be loved. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in. We rely on the Holy Spirit to strengthen and enable us to always love others.
Purpose: To help the congregation to rely on God to enable them to ‘treat others as they would want to be treated’. In this way they’ll have more joy.
I. Introduction: Mean people
1. You probably know the following villains
2. One thing these villains have in common: No joy
3. Although these people are fictional, they demonstrate some truth
II. The direct relationship between joy and kindness
1. The less you have of one, the less you will have of the other. The opposite is also
true: The more you have of one, the more you will have of the other.
2. Joy and kindness feed off each other. Kindness adds to joy and joy adds to
III. This is why Jesus commands us to be kind
1. Matthew 7:12: “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for
this is the law and the prophets.”
2. Not only is this the right thing to do, it is what is best for us.
3. Let’s take a closer look at Matthew 7:12.
IV. A closer look at Matthew 7:12
1. The first observation: It sums up the law and prophets.
2. The second observation: It begins with loving ourselves
3. The third observation: Once you love yourself, you can begin to love others
V. Following Matthew 7:12 is not always easy
1. When people say or do something that is hurtful, we have a strong tendency to
react in the same manner. That, of course, doesn’t bring joy, only more anger and
bitterness. Relationships become more fractured.
2. When someone says or does something that is hurtful:
3. To become better at ‘dong unto others as you would have them do unto you’ you
must be in constant prayer, Bible study, worship, fasting and service. The are the
primary means by which the Holy Spirit changes us and makes us more like
4. Guarantee: The more you allow the Holy Spirit to make you more kind, the more
joy you will experience.
VI. Ask yourself: “Are there people I have not been kind to?” If yes, ask God to help you
rectify this sin.