The Fitting Room – Chapters 10 & 11 from Bloom (in)courage on Vimeo.
The idea of kindness is so simple. It means that you open the door for someone or that you just smile when there was an opportunity to do something else, right?
Well, I guess so.
But as Kelly says on page 134, you can fuel it “by your flesh in the early stages,” but that won’t last. You eventually realize that in order to have “sustainable kindness” you have to have something more powerful-Jesus Christ Himself.
Any attempts that we make to be “kind” are scratching the surface of the virtue that the Lord wants us to display for the watching world. And I love that she talks about spending time with kind people, because I think that’s the best way to learn how to live a life of true kindness-by watching others do it well. Those who have tapped into the true source and are now living as extensions of Christ’s kindness. I wonder if, like me, you can imagine a few of these people now? Make it a point to connect with them and learn from them. I’m willing to bet that by spending your hours around people who live out kindness, you will be inspired to do the same.
One of my favorite sentences in this chapter is on page 137, and it says: “These characteristics are the result of a transformed heart, a heart the Holy Spirit has lovingly meddled with over the years.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to invite Him every day to do that beautiful meddling…
Intricately associated with all other virtues is humility.
We can’t begin to live a life that looks like the Lord’s until we have learned to humble ourselves and recognize what we really are. All the building up of self that this world wants to encourage is a lie intended to convince us that we have no need for a Savior. We have to push back on the world’s idea of what makes us worthy…the bottom line is that we aren’t worthy at all if we don’t have Him. We are praying for all of you this week-asking the Lord to grant you the beautiful gift of humility and the ability to live it out with genuine, God-breathed kindness.Leave a Comment
Seed: In chapter 10, pages 138 to 140 had several phrases that stuck with me — kindness is about the “posture of my heart” (pg 138); God must “tenderize my heart” (pg 139) so that I can display kindness in the power of the Holy Spirit (the word tenderize makes me think of a big mallet pounding away at a big chunk of meat — painful!); we must “season our words with the hope of the Gospel” (page 140). This is not really possible in and of myself — thank God for the Holy Spirit!
In chapter 11, I loved how she phrased the theme — “everything must die to rise again” — through her illustration about her weedy grass (I live in Florida, and we are in a drought here — I see the differences between those who work their yard and those who don’t every day! . The whole thing climaxed for me on page 155 with this statement: “Death of our pride and selfish ambition is endured only so something more glorious can be resurrected in its place.” Isn’t that just like my Father? 🙂
Water: These are two qualities that I need to pray about daily. Like Kelly, I want to “pray daily that God would make me into a kind and gentle woman” (page 137). If I don’t get seriously disciplined about examining and purposefully tending to the garden of my heart, I am going to end up dry and uninviting to others.
Grow: I love it where Kelly says that she has seen kindness “save a life” (p.130). I am so thankful for the kindness of God and of sisters who have come along side me as His “kindness crew” to encourage. I hope that I can extend this to others — it’s my prayer that God will use me in this way somehow to bless another sister.
Like Angie, I was challenged by the passage about “chipping away” at pride on page 155 — it’s a little scary to ask God reveal to me “the self that won’t budge and tirelessly needs to be fed.” Ugly — I am asking God to hold up a mirror to the yucky me. Ouch.
I was thinking we werent supposed to have this read until JUly 6th… has the schedule moved up a little? I’ll have to catch up! But it is such a good read!!!
I also thought these chapters were for July 6. Is there an updated reading schedule? Really enjoying this study!
Nicole Blean says
I just want to say how much I am blessed by the video chapter discussions and this entire online book club format. This is perfect for me because I just don’t have the time or childcare arrangements to be in traditional book clubs as a single mom who works full time. I am loving the book and it’s such a treasure to have the author participate in the chapter discussions!
Just have to say I’m really thankful for this book! My nature is to be compliant – I don’t often outwardly rebel and so while from all outward appearances, I seem like a good Christian girl, inwardly, I’m not feeling it. I’ll DO the right thing, act the right way, but so many times it’s from a sense of duty and not because I AM kind or humble. Then, I began to feel fake… and somewhat torn. I mean, I truly do want to exhibit all the attributes mentioned in this passage in Colossians, but I also want to be authentic and real. While I’ve always known God doesn’t intend for us to muster up all these good things on our own, I love the practical ways Kelly points out that we hinder or help this process. I want to be so filled with God’s love, His kindness, and every other positive attribute that it can’t help but spill out and have those things be the authentic actions and attitudes of who I am.
SEED: “True kindness may be one of the most telling signs of our Christianity.”
WATER: May I continue to be yielded to the Spirit’s meddling with my heart!
BLOOM: Loved the point that kind people make you feel special and singled out – may I truly see others as Christ sees them and desire to make them feel as special as He created them!
SEED: I was reminded again that Christ not only gave up the glories and beauty of heaven to come to earth, but that He came knowing the cruel and horrible death He would have to face. It’s easy for me to feel like I don’t deserve this or that or I do deserve something else, but to remember all that He gave up for me helps keep my perspective where it needs to be.
WATER: Continue to pursue Christ and deny the flesh – fill my mind with things that are true and noble.
BLOOM: “Death of our pride and selfish ambition is endured only so something much more glorious can be resurrected in its place.”
I love you for your honesty. How true that we so often go through the motions… “acting” like we should but not really feeling it. Only through the Spirit’s power can we start feeling how we act. Praying God can work through me… and you and all of the others on here… =)
Amen! I could have written these words myself! I have learned that my instinct is to “want” to do the right things (esp. in regards to kindness), and my actions often are there, but my heart is still thinking about the inconvenience it is, or what I would rather be doing with my time. I am praying for God to fill me with those desires so that my actions, too, will be authentic and that I don’t think twice about not only acting in kindness, but being totally genuine about it as well.
Thanks for sharing your hearts, ladies! I am right there with you 🙂
Seed- I was struck when Kelly asked, “Is my speech generally uplifting?” Because in all truth, mine isn’t. And I may say kind things, but the way I say them may give me away. This is one area I need to work on..
Water- I like how Kelly points out that kindness and humility are not just something we do in ourselves. We have to have the Holy Spirit. That being said, I am going to try to start looking for ways I can be intentionally and deliberately kind, and praying for God to give me opportunity to do so.
Bloom: If I can grasp humility, I will know God’s peace. How blessed is one that has peace in all circumstances!
Kelly really caused me to look at kindness in a special way. It’s not about having a “sweet personality” or a “calm & gentle disposition. This kindness is fruit from a maturing heart that’s growing more in love with God.
Humility is a big problem for me. Even when I TRY not to “think about me”, I find my thoughts going in that direction. “I” is the center of Pride.
There’s so much in each of these chapters. I find myself rereading the chapter as you guys point out some of the highlights that I’ve missed. Thanks.
My prayer…page 135 ” ….the heart of kindness….a deep desire to reflect the love of God to the people around me because of who He is and the work He has done in my heart. I can not show true enduring kindness apart from the life of Jesus.”