Posts Tagged ‘loving-kindness’

Loving-Kindness – Hebrew: Chesed

חסד

Chesed in Hebrew means ‘loving-kindness’

“The people of Isra’el are to keep the Shabbat, to observe Shabbat through all their generations as a perpetual covenant (loving-kindness)” (Exodus 31:16, CJB).

“The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant (loving-kindness)” (Exodus 31:16, NIV).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Chet – ‘A Fence’ means ‘inner room (heart) or protect’

Samech – ‘A Prop’ means ‘to prop or support’

Dalet – ‘A Door’ means ‘door or pathway’

chesed – inner room (heart) that supports the pathway

©2011 Tentstake Ministries

 

Kindness and the Daisy

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion and with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with one another; if anyone has a complaint against someone else, forgive him. Indeed, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive” (Colossians 3:11-13).

Wildflower

I am pondering the word kindness.  The truth is that I am not always kind to people.  Because of my own selfish desires, I fall short of bringing glory to God.  And for me, bringing glory to God is the bottom line to my life – to testify to the world of God’s kindness.  Falling short with unkindness always makes me feel sad because I don’t want to be a weed in a sea of grass, but a daisy.

Kindness is defined as an act of being kind; marked by good and charitable behavior, pleasant disposition, and concern for others.  It is considered a virtue.

I don’t read the Talmud or even know what these oral, now written writings hold, but in doing just a little research on kindness, I found the Talmud claims that ‘deeds of kindness are equal in weight to all the commandments.’  This is a profound statement because the commandments are part of the ‘law’ or Torah – the instructions of God.  How can a person say,  ‘I follow Torah’ or ‘I love God’s commandments’  if the ‘law of kindness’ doesn’t flow from their lips (Proverbs 31:26)?

As a follower of the Messiah Yeshua, I am commanded to uphold the Spirit of the ‘law‘ because I am a new creation.  The ‘old letter of the law’ kills because it has to do with a stony, hard, selfish sinful  heart.  It not only kills me, but everyone else to whom I am unkind; those  required to live up to ‘laws’ I create apart from the Spirit.  There is the cliché, “kill them with kindness.”  It would be better than killing them with unkindness!   Yet, only through the Spirit of God can a new heart of flesh  bring forth life through kindness from the ‘written code’.

“For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.  But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code” (Romans 7:5-7).

Kindness is also one of the fruits of the Spirit.  I had a Bible teacher say that the first three fruits: love, joy, peace are our relationship with the Father.  The last three fruits: faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are our relationship with ourselves.  Forbearance (patience), kindness, and goodness, the middle three fruits, should exemplify our relationship with others – both our brothers and sisters in Messiah as well as those in the world.  It is by our fruit that people know that we serve God,  not by our manmade rules and regulations.  According to Galatians, there is ‘no law’ or command against being kind.  The Spiritual fruit of kindness should be a believer’s ‘law of life.’

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Kindness isn’t just being nice.  Anyone can be nice to please, flatter or manipulate another person.  Kindness is something deeper; it is rooted in the  Hebrew word, chesed  which means loving kindness.   Yahweh’s loving kindness brought  salvation to the world through His Son, Yeshua  (John 3:16). His loving kindness covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8) as should ours.   Loving kindness should come from a genuine desire of caring for another person and wanting to support them no matter what or how we feel.  Loving kindness should come from a peaceful and joyful relationship with our Father, a faithful, gentle and self-controlled relationship with ourselves  that freely flows to another person whether the situation in our life is pleasant, blahhh, or full of strife.

The loving kindness of God through us will bring healing to the wounds from a friend or a broken relationship. The loving kindness of God through us will bring life to a dying heart or suffering soul.  As a vessel of God, His loving kindness through us resolves issues of sin or misunderstanding between two people.  Loving kindness on our tongues is a testimony to His loving kindness to someone who may be listening from afar or close by.

Loving kindness is the proof of  God’s Spirit  living in the hearts of His holy ones, his saints, you and me.  Loving kindness is the evidence that as His children, we understand, accept and exemplify His mercy, grace, and forgiveness with and for others.   Loving kindness is that beautiful wildflower in a sea of grass that stands out and brings life to the world around it.

“And now I entrust you to the care of the Lord and to the message of his loving kindness, for it can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who have been set apart for God” (Acts 20:32).

©2013 Tentstake Ministries