Humble and Kind

By Chelsea Pollard

For someone who doesn’t listen to modern country much, one of my favorites is Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw. The tune is lovely, but I mainly appreciate the reminder. 

I’d like to believe that I don’t really need the reminder because this isn’t a problem for me. I think I’m a very kind person! I don’t think I’m prideful, so I’m already humble? As much as I hate to admit it, I am humbled very often. It mainly shows me that it’s my attitude and my mindset that is flawed. Now, it’s just up to me to learn from it. 

The most recent event happened while I was at work. I run a small cafe in a medical building and normally, I close at 4 pm but I decided I wanted to leave just a few minutes early. I figured I could have everything finished and leave around 3:45. It’s only a 15 minute head start to get home, but that sounded nice! A little after 3, a woman came up and started asking all kinds of questions. She was alone, around 60 years old and in a wheelchair, so she couldn’t see the displays very well. She started asking about the drinks, the lunch items, the snacks, the whole nine. She wanted to know what they were, the ingredients, the sugar content and I was totally fine with that! But the minutes started to drag on and I was getting a little annoyed. Like come on, I want to leave a little early! How dare she. 

Well, this conversation unfolded like they usually do. We started to learn more about each other, like where we are from and what brought us here. We’re both transplants, so we talked about how much we liked our town and enjoyed living in the south, her being from the north and me from the west. Talked about how crazy we thought the world was and we just wish we could be united again, live in peace with everyone. At some point in the conversation, she asked me “Are you a woman of faith?” I told her I was. She didn’t go much into detail, but what I gathered is that she is very spiritual. She kept telling me to “never lose faith.” She told me about her life and the health issues she had when she was very young and how that led her to where she was. She had cancer and diabetes in her early 20s, but she was grateful and said she was blessed. She beat the cancer, she lost all her weight and even though that put her in a wheelchair, she felt blessed. 

She had to take medical transport to get to her appointment and the reason she was “talking my ear off”, was because she was waiting for her ride and boy, how they were making her wait. She never complained, she was extremely pleasant, she was so positive and excited about everything we were talking about. Once 3:45 hit, she decided to call her ride again, get an ETA on the driver. I knew I needed to start closing up so I told her it was lovely talking to her, but she quickly got on her phone call. I wanted to give her her privacy so I stepped into the back for just a moment, but when I came out, she was on her way out the door. Then I noticed that she had left me a gift, right by my register. It was a beautiful necklace, a cross with small heart wrapped around it. Cue the humbling. 

I genuinely enjoyed our conversation and I just couldn’t believe that I was annoyed, inconvenienced even. Here was this beautiful soul, having a conversation with me, but that’s not how I saw it. Not at first, anyway. I realized just how selfish I was being, like it wasn’t worth my time. I have loved getting to know people at my job for the last year and a half, so you’d think I’d know by now. But at times, I need to be reminded. Especially as Christians, it’s important to not only see the person, but the soul and treat them as such. In a sermon, Hiram Kemp said “Every time we look at the face of another human being, we are seeing an extension of God’s love.” That really stuck with me, especially after that day. 

“Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.“  Galatians 6:10

She was still waiting outside as I left. I made sure to stop, tell her how much I appreciated the sweet gift and appreciated her. Once again, she told me to never lose faith. I will remember her and try my absolute best to keep the mindset that God wants me to have for His creation. 

“Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you

When you get where you’re going don’t forget turn back around

And help the next one in line

Always stay humble and kind.” 

 

May be an image of 1 person and standing

Brotherly Kindness

By Janelle Pollard

One of my favorite things about my husband is how much he loves his brothers, how close they have always been (even when living states apart), and how much they value each other. In today’s day and age, it’s not the most common thing, sadly. Dale and his brothers have always been very close, and I love how much they mean to each other. I hope and pray that if we have a few boys one day, they will share that same kind of bond. For a close-knit family like his, loving your own family that much doesn’t take much effort.

Recently, I studied the topic of “brotherly kindness” for a ladies’ Bible class. I began to realize that I had never actually spent much time on this topic on my own time. I already knew that as Christians, it is important to love our brothers and sisters in Christ (the church) and treat them with love and kindness, but I had to admit that I didn’t realize just how seriously God takes this and what is actually required. It’s usually easy for us to love our own family and sometimes even be very close to them just like Dale is with his brothers. However, the kind of “brotherly kindness” that we are commanded to show to our Christian brothers and sisters requires dedication, intentionality, and a heart that wants to please God.

The English Standard Version refers to this as “brotherly love” and “brotherly affection” in Hebrews 13:1 and 2 Peter 1:7, respectively. 

According to John 13:34-34, Jesus isn’t offering a suggestion on how to treat our brothers and sisters. He says this brotherly love is a new command:

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

The ultimate test of one’s love for a brother (or sister) is in 1 John 3:16-18:

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

It isn’t hard to say things like “I love you” or “I’d do anything for you” or “let me know if you need anything” but do we really mean those things every time we say them? We shouldn’t have to say those words for others to know how we feel. We must strive to live out those words through our actions. The Bible says very clearly that if a brother or sister is in need and we do nothing to help them, we are lacking in the love that gives evidence that we are truly children of God. This verse says that we must be willing to give up our own life!

We also read of this command for love in Matthew 22:37-39:

37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor a little bit less than yourself.”

Except, that’s not what that verse says…

39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

This command—obviously very important for us to live out—is recorded many times, not just by Jesus, but also by several of the apostles:

1. Paul refers to this “new commandment” in his letter to the Galatians, in Gal. 6:2:

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

2. Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 1:22:

“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,”

3. James instructs us in James 2:8:
“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.

4. John warns us in 1 John 3:11, 14-15 (refers to those who hate their brother as a murderer!)

    Also, 1 John 2:8-10:
8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. 

We are able to see just how crucial brotherly love truly is…
– evidence of Christ’s true followers (John 13:35)
– the law of Christ fulfilled (James 2:8)
– assurance of our salvation (1 John 2:8-10)

So, what are some PRACTICAL ways we can show brotherly love?

1. LOOK for areas of need (ex. cook a meal for someone who is sick, has experienced a loss, or is tight on money; offer to babysit for free so a parent can have a needed break; clean the house or mow the yard of an elderly person who could use a hand!)
2. ASK for specific things we can pray about for someone—and continue to be in prayer about this; follow up on how things are going throughout the days or weeks we’ve begun praying for them
3. TAKE NOTICE of others who are striving to live faithfully & let them know how it has encouraged us/that we are thankful for their example—be the person known for genuinely lifting others up, not for gossiping or pointing out others’ faults
4. VISIT a widow who may be lonely and take a card game or dominos & get to know them better
5. SEND a greeting card or care package to someone in college with words of encouragement and Scripture
6. SPEND TIME with a member in the hospital or nursing home
7. INVITE a new member or family to a group lunch or coffee to get to know them better and help them feel welcome
8. TEACH a Bible class & before each class meets, pray for those who attend
9. PRAY for the youth group & always set a Christ-like example for those who are younger
10. GIVE your time and comfort when a member experiences a loss of any kind, (sometimes just being there, without words, is all they may need!)