February 12, 2017       

2 Samuel 10: 1-5

We love our children and we teach them that they are loved. We affirm them and have birthday parties, celebrate the various events in life and watch them grow, however when they enter the work place they discover it is a jungle. Lying is standard procedure, exaggeration is the only way to advertise and promote, deception is necessary, backstabbing is expected, and profit isn’t everything it is the only thing. Without even noticing they have built a fortress of protection around their heart and no one will ever get through that tough heart. Whatever happened to kindness?

Do you believe we live in a tough world?
Have you had to toughen up yourself?

God has a better way - Kindness = moral excellence in character or demeanor, love in action.

1.    A Tender Hearted King – Read 2 Samuel 10: 1-5
How can the Holy Spirit make a tough person tender and kind? David was a man who was tough and kindhearted at the same time. He was courageous, a man of valor, a mighty warrior, a risk taker, a military strategist, and a great man. He was no stranger to the school of hard knocks. He was on Saul’s hit list, many foreign kings wanted him killed, and his own son tried to overthrow him. David knew how tough life could be and yet he maintained a tender and sensitive heart in the midst of a tough world.

Some say kindness, sensitivity, and tender-heartedness is a sign of weakness.
    Do you see this view today?
How did David show kindness in this story?
How can we show kindness to others?

2.    Empathizing Easily
The Holy Spirit’s goal is to make every believer a kind and sensitive person. His first step is to teach us to empathize with others. Insensitive people have a reflex reaction when they see others hurting. “It’s not my problem.” Glad it didn’t happen to me. I hope they land on their feet. I hope she pulls through. Insensitive people are unaffected by the struggles of other people. God will not settle for this attitude. The Holy Spirit is going to work you over on the inside and remind you that God was deeply moved by your struggles. He is still moved by your cries for help. God has a way of slowing you down and softening your heart, to feel for others. He will urge you to walk in their shoes so you can feel their pain.

How has God softened your heart about the needs of others?

3.    Participating Personally
David could have ignored the news of how his messengers had been humiliated. After all, he was a busy man. He had a kingdom to run. David reached out to these men and cared for them. He showed kindness in sharing in their pain. So often we desire to do our mercy work by mail. We would rather send a check, a card, E-mail, or text, which are appropriate. But sometimes the Holy Spirit will lead you to get involved personally. When God moves your heart to kindness He will reveal and guide you to take appropriate action. David told the men to go to Jericho until your beards grow back. Take the time you need to overcome your pain. It was a disgrace to have your beard shaven or to be seen naked. It is still a violation of human dignity to disrobe someone today or to treat them in an unkind manner. The Holy Spirit will give you assistance in helping others through difficult times. Do not be afraid to let your guard down and get involved. Trust God to lead you as you fulfill your assignment of kindness to others.

Share a time someone reached out to you with tenderness and kindness.
Try to recall a time the Holy Spirit gave you just the right words to say or just the right thing to do in helping someone else.
In what way is God prompting you to help someone?
Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you the tender heart of Jesus.
Pray for insight, wisdom, and sensitivity.
Thank God, for the supernatural power of kindness that flows from Him through you.
Be a blessing to someone this week.