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Watch 2022 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore — The Law of Kindness

Beth Moore — The Law of Kindness

TOPICS: Kindness

Now because some people are just now catching up with us in this series on the law of kindness, what was number one?

Kindness is not weakness. Kindness is a strength. In fact, we're going to see it as a supernatural strength.

Number two is this: kindness gets worn down when we are. I want you to be thinking... when we're talking about living and being in the world, and we're talking about that if we're not going to get a hard heart it will be because we were purposeful about continuing to let God nurse in us through his spirit a graciousness and a tenderness to people and a heart that was still warm toward people and trade out that heart of stone.

But what we're going to find as we're trying to figure out where did I start getting mean? And I'm not saying this is everybody but I will tell you this, we all have a mean streak in us -- all of us do! I just cannot think of a single soul that doesn't.

I have one friend, my darling little friend, 16 year old Kendall with Down syndrome. I can honestly tell you, Kendall does not have a mean streak! But she is one of the only people I've met in my entire life that really does not seem to have one. The rest of us, something can just come out of nowhere and we can either just live out there in the meanness or it will just fly out of us every now and then. But you and I are trying to figure out where does it come from? Why did I say that? I didn't even mean that! Where did that action come from? Sometimes it's purely because we are worn down.

I want you to write down the address, Daniel 7:25. I'm not going to take the time to look it up with you but I am going to read it to you. Daniel 7:25 talks about the end of days when the enemy force, the force of the anti Christ will speak against the most high and oppress his saints.

That word "oppress" and it says it straight out in the N.A.S. it means to wear down the saints. That won't only be true of the way the enemy forces work in the end of days, it is true of every single era on the kingdom calendar. One of the things that the enemy tries to do with us is just flat out wear us down. Like now we're tired. We're just like tired! And we've been dealing with this mean situation for so long.

You may have someone in your life, maybe it is in your workplace, in your extended family that just is mean-spirited. And we come to a place where we think, you know what? I'm going to pay you back meanness for meanness.

I want you to know I come to this out of a personal testimony. The reason why I went
to the scripture to study it is because I began to pray it over myself because by and large, just across the board, I tend to be a fairly happy person. I tend to be happier than a lot of people may want me to be. Do you understand what I'm saying to you?

I may even be annoying. Yes! Yes, it is annoying, Beth. I'm glad you realize that.

But I got in a situation -- and I don't want you to try to figure out who this is. I live in very close community with about 10 family members so it could be any one of those but that wide range -- but in the daily where every week you're with them. I just have somebody in my life that tends to be unkind. I mean just like you hang in there and you hang in there and you hang in there. I just need to see somebody's hand if you're just stepping in this with me. I need to see this group over here -- anybody over there? Yeah! Yes! Okay, you just hang in there with it as long as you can and finally you just go, you know what? You're meaner than a snake and I'm going to be mean right back! There is just something about it, I'm going to give them -- I want them to know how this feels.

And so what happened to me was that I formed a bad habit. I just got to where well -- and you can imagine, it was a free for all because that person was mean and I was mean right back. And I got into this where I lost the filter on my tongue. And the thing about it, it wasn't with everybody in my life, it was with this person. But this person was important to me and it's someone I have to do a whole lot of life with and this is not the way I want to live -- it is not godly. I find myself every single morning confessing the same thing. And that's when you know, well, maybe the thing needs to change.

See, if I'm saying the same thing, "Forgive me for what I said." Every morning I'm saying, "Forgive me for what I said yesterday!" Or "Forgive me for what I said day before yesterday." Anybody else? I formed a bad habit of unkindness.

Now we can reason all day long that they deserved it, that's not what God's word says we're supposed to do. We're children of the most high God called to be kind to the ungrateful and even the wicked. We're to love and be merciful like our father in heaven has loved and been merciful, and so it was just flat wrong, there was no excuse for it. But I was in a habit and I would decide that morning that I wasn't going to do it and then I'd get to about one or two in the afternoon and boom! There it would come and then I never could just shut up with that one thing because see, I'd been storing it up. I would find myself thinking -- I would daydream of all the things I was going to say. Anybody else?

ell me, does anybody else have a fight with somebody in your imagination? And I mean it's the perfect -- and you say it with perfect timing, and look a certain way when you say it. I mean -- and you just turn and walk away. You leave them with it and it's just like the perfect fight. It's the perfect fight only I kept picturing that and I then I just acted on it because sooner or later the overflow of your heart is going to come out through your mouth and that's exactly what was happening.

Well, on my own, I couldn't quit doing it. And it had been about three months -- I'd just given way to it, whatever I thought, I just said. I could not stand myself. I didn't know what to do. I kept confessing it to God. I kept asking for him to fill me with his spirit. And you know one of the things he directed me to do? I had to go confess it to some people. Here's what I did: I had five of my friends I called together and said, "I don't know what in the world is wrong with me but I have lapsed into unkindness. I don't know what has happened to my tongue. I want God to use my mouth and yet here's what I was doing with it." I said, "I need you guys to hold me accountable."

And what I had to do because this person is in and out of my normal everyday life and every week life, so what I told them to do, I said, "I have to report to you every morning in a group text" (I had all five of them on one text,) "I will report to you every single morning how I did the day before. And anything I say I have to tell you what I said."

They said, "Okay, we'll do it." And they said, "We'll pray you up." Because it is one thing to just confess but I needed the help of my sisters so they could see me through.

Well, I want to tell you because I knew I was going to have to report to them, you don't think that habit broke?

And what God wanted me to do was just humble myself and go, "I'm really having a problem." They almost got tickled because they just -- it really is not like me to just go off on a tangent like that. And it has not been -- I've had so many strongholds but unkindness has really not been the big one on the list until just here recently. I just got worn down. You just like -- you get worn out after a while, and you no longer have that filter on your tongue. I'm just telling you, get you some support from some friends that will hold you accountable because that ain't no way to live!

And you know what? In some respects the person got nicer and in some respects not. But I feel a whole lot better -- a whole lot better because I want to live in the spirit.

I ask you today, are you just worn out? I was flipping through a magazine here recently while I was coming back on an airplane from an event and there was this wonderful cartoon of a man laying on a couch talking on his telephone. And there is a picture over the top of it that says, "One-downmanship." Not one-upmanship -- but "one-downmanship." And the caption says this, "You're depressed? My depression makes your depression look like euphoria!"

I thought, how many of us have somebody like that in our lives? When you try to say, "I'm really going through a hard time."

They go, "You think you're having a hard time?" For some of us there is someone in your life that just hogs up all the hard time!

There is just so much space for hard time. They take all of it all of the time. They're a hard time hog! And you know what? By golly, I'm going to get to be depressed today!

I demand the right, in this family, in this house, it is my turn to be depressed! Anybody know? We just get worn out.

I want you to see something else, we're not only worn out we're over burdened.

I've got to show y'all the coolest thing. This is the beauty -- I tell you every now and then -- why is it we ever mention Greek or Hebrew words? Right here is the reason! I want to read you a wonderful verse that is familiar to many of you out of Matthew chapter 11. Listen to it. It says in 28-30.

28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Okay, I've got to tell you something. I don't know why because you're going to ask me, "Why did the translators translate it that way?" And I'm not sure.

I went to my little Greek scholar, my youngest daughter has just really done the academic thing. And I went to her and I said, "I need you to look up this word and tell me why."

And she said, "Now mother, I can figure out why they did it but she said it's still really by and large a mystery."

That word right there for, "My yoke is easy," that is a word -- the lexical form of that word, crestos, that I told you about earlier, crestos, if we were going to look for a really tight rendering of that it would be, my yoke is kind -- my yoke is kind. Listen, when we get all yoked up to other people -- I'm not talking about marriage here, I'm just talking yokes, I'm talking about bondage -- when we're all yoked up to people, we get in all sorts of unkind situations. But he says to me, let me tell you something, my yoke will always be kind -- always! I'll never be unkind to you.

And somebody is tuned in today just to hear that very word. God wants you to hear today, "I'll never be unkind to you." He is incapable of being unkind to you. His yoke -- even his yoke is kind.

We're living in so much stress and pressure that it is just crushing the life out of us. Something else, and I'm not going to read this one but I do want you to write it down. Second Timothy 2:24 talks about when we get into the trap -- I said I wasn't going to read it but of course, I am.

Because sometimes I'm about to tell you what it says and I think, you know what? They would have been better off actually hearing the verse where it would have had the power. Second Timothy 2:24 says this: blank.

And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

Well, it occurred to me in that context that one of the things that make us unkind is resentment. One reason why we get in a trap where we just have lost the kindness on our tongue and we begin to hear ourselves say all sorts of mean things that we think at the end of the day, most of them we don't even mean, what's happened to us? Well, we feel resentment.

If you feel resentment towards somebody or something long enough you will lose your kindness. These are the things that just drain -- that wear out our kindness.

I want to show you one last one and I want you to turn with me on this one. Turn with me to Genesis 37, verse four.

I'm praying God is about to speak a word to somebody and set somebody free. This is a story about the son of Jacob that he was most partial to. There is nothing like partiality to get a kid in trouble with his siblings. So that is the case here. I wish we could tell the whole story but I want you to just lock in because we're talking about the law of what? Kindness!

So something about this account or this verse is going to speak to our theme so listen up. Genesis 37:4.

When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

For some people that we find that we cannot be nice to somehow, it could be that we're jealous of them or it could be that we hate them.

I want to say something to you today, we don't talk enough about hate because we try to act like that's the thing that we really do not do. That would be the one thing like we sin in many ways as James says, we stumble in many ways but hate is too far and how often is it that we'll ever admit to having hated someone, but you know you have and I know I have.

There are times in our lives when we feel such strong feelings for someone that we literally, whether or not we treat them like a frenemy, whether or not we act nice to their face and ugly behind their back, the truth is we resent them, we may be jealous of them or we just may flat out hate them and it wears out our kindness.

This just helps us to see when it is worn down, where is it going? What has happened to it? And it's not that we need our egos built back up, we need our spirits built back up by God and his word and his people. Get some accountability to get back in the habit of kindness. Unkindness becomes habitual. It just becomes a way of reacting over and over again until we become someone we don't even like.

Listen, you have to live in there with yourself. We don't want to be in this trap. Somebody tell me what number one was so our audience can catch up with us.
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