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Kindness, Not Flattery.

Ponder point. Kindness. Not flattery. What's the difference?

Flattery is a costless statement. It is just a quick way to make you feel good; give a quick, warm, fuzzy compliment. The other, Kindness, is an action that usually has a cost to the one exercising/giving it. It is when you have received something that helps you, impacts you, or leaves a mark on your life. Where the other person has displayed through action that you are valued, it usually costs the person something, whether it is time or energy.

Remember, Kindness is an attitude that is true to our core and displayed in an action. It is a fruit of the spirit. It is not merely a word spoken to appease or gain favor or to disguise and hide a bad attitude, hidden agenda, or falsehood.

There is something very satisfying about seeing a big bowl of fruit on a counter, whether it is in a kitchen or a hotel lobby. Not only does eating fresh fruit have health benefits, but just seeing them does as well; this is why it is usually the first thing that greets you in a grocery store. Growing up, I have wonderful childhood memories of climbing fig trees and gathering buckets full, grabbing handfuls of blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries in the woods, and going apple, strawberry, or pumpkin picking at local farms. I can remember my parents growing Concord grapes in the backyard. They pruned and tended the vines for seven years before harvesting them to make jam or wine. I’ve tried growing kiwis and pomegranates. I love having a bowl of fresh fruit that bursts beyond capacity in the house. Sweet, sour, even mild avocados fill the eye and palate with an amazing assortment of flavors. They are loaded with nutrients and refreshments. Their color, textures, and flavors invigorate our bodies, minds, and souls. Have you ever been at the showing of a house, RV show, apartment, storefront window, or even a stage set where you saw fruit and found out it wasn’t real? It is somewhat dissatisfying.

Counterfeit fruit is often used for staging. It is used to try and create an atmosphere or illusion that is welcoming, refreshing, inspiring, or comforting. It is ‘charming’. It tries to distract, disarm, and quench doubt or fears but is void of any true value. Charming someone is manipulating them for selfish gain. It is the smile behind every false hope and empty promise. It is a counterfeit atmosphere. The best way to recognize a counterfeit is to be acquainted with the authentic. Ask any jeweler, gemologist, or banker. Get acquainted with the authentic fruit of the Spirit. Pray and study the scriptures to see different scenarios and what is used where. Taste and see that the Lord is good!

How has someone's kindness impacted you this year?

What was done on your behalf to encourage you or make you understand your value?


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