Tag Archives: kindness

An Attitude of Gratitude for Latitude

The Bible reflects a grateful attitude for what God and others have done in many places! Here are a few examples:

Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. (Psalm 100:4)

Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, And tell of His works with joyful singing. (Psalm 107:21-22)

We also find a grateful apostle Paul:

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. (Romans 1:8).

And he reminds us always to be thankful to God as we continue to ask Him to meet our needs:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

If you think about it, we can (and should!) be grateful for so many things, including family, friends, jobs, and God’s creation itself. So, expressing gratitude—especially toward God—seems to be important! Why? Giving thanks for what we receive or experience is an appropriate response that completes a transaction: you have received something, so you give something in return. And having a grateful attitude can also be physically and emotionally beneficial.

 Practicing gratitude “reinforces generous behavior, squeezes our negative feelings, and can help with depression” (https://www.heysigmund.com/the-science-of-gratitude/). Also, “research has found that we tend to feel more grateful for experiences than for things we have.” Being grateful causes us to change our focus from our issues and troubles and makes us feel better as if we’ve received an emotional ‘shot in the arm.’ I want to share one of my experiences.

In 1994, I opened an electronics repair and computer business. Naively, I wasn’t financially prepared, and my family was without money for food by early 1995. My church didn’t help. They were friendly, but not ‘kind.’ However, one of my customers, a kind Catholic woman who heard of our situation, rallied her congregation to buy groceries before, during, and after Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts for our four children. Her selfless acts were purely sacrificial and loving. Our gratitude for what she and the others in her church did gave us relief from our struggles and empowered us also be kind to others over the years.

In closing, I’ll tell you that I’m thankful for every one of you who reads and ponders my articles. They are my gift to you, and I’m grateful for your readership. What’s next? Well, let’s continue our journey of self-improvement in Turning Bad Into Good.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley

Being Nice is, well, nice . . . but Kindness is the Commandment!

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. —James 2:14-17.

But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. —Matthew 21:28-30.

A smile or nice word may make the initiator and recipient feel good. But being ‘nice’ or tickling peoples’ ears by saying what we think they want to hear does nothing for obedience to our God or Christ’s commandments. And that’s what matters.

Instead, love others with the love of our God and Christ – the kind of love that exclaims, “I’m going to do the right thing by you despite how I feel” – the Greek ‘agape’ love. Smile or not. Wax eloquent in speech or spew words dripping in honey . . . or don’t. Regardless, act out of faith and honor your heavenly Father in true worship (i.e. self-control of your body) and your fellow human through benevolence. After all, that’s how we’ll be judged in the last days.

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’” —Matthew 25:34-36.

Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!

And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!