Fruits of the Spirit: Gentleness

The other night I watched Les Miserables for the first time. Have you ever seen that movie? Well if you haven’t, it’s about a man named Jean ValJean who steals a loaf of bread. For this small crime he is sent to prison for five years. Twice he tries to escape, and this only adds to his time there- Jean ends up spending twenty years in jail all because of a loaf of bread. The night before he finally escapes, Jean makes a vow to kill Javert, the cruel prison master. So he runs away and is given a room and food for the night from a kind old bishop. In the middle of the night, the “convict” sneaks out and steals all of the bishop’s silver except the candlesticks. In the morning, he is brought back to the bishop’s house by the police for stealing, but the bishop tells them that he gave him the silver. Jean asks the bishop why he would do that for an evil man like him, and the bishop says to him, “Any man who was created good by God cannot be turned completely evil by man.” and he hands him the candlesticks and lets him go. Later on, ValJean has a chance to kill Javert, but instead he lets him go and forgives him of all he did to him. Finally, at the end of the play, Javert lets Jean go free, even though Javert said that there was no God, only a right and wrong, and that Jean deserved to be punished for his wrong.  Ia man who had not even an inkling of a belief in God, a man who hunted down another for all his life, but then showed him compassion and gentleness, than shouldn’t we all be able to? These three major instances of gentleness should give us all hope for each other.

Being gentle is much more than just handling an object with care, it is showing love, respect, and understanding for our fellow man. Can you do that, for God?

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Fruits of the Spirit: Kindness

SO, has everybody been doing these projects I’ve been asking you to do lately? I have, but let me tell you, not fast forwarding was SOOO hard to stop (in my opinion). Now, as you can hopefully judge from the title of today’s blog, I am writing to you about kindness.

How many of us like to think we are nice people? All of us, right? Now, if we were to look beneath the surface of our own ideas about ourselves and see how we actually act, most of us would be appalled. Despite this, however, we still expect people to like us and to be rewarded for our actions. Take a kid I know from school for example. He calls me and my friends things I don’t think I’m allowed to write here, throws balls at us, calls us morons, shoves us, and then when he finishes bullying us he sort of smiles and starts acting like we’re the best friends in the world! I mean, does he really think I would like him after all of that?!

Now take my mother as an example. She does charity work, cleanup projects, stays up late to help me with my homework,  mows the lawn, delivers food to the neighbors, helps people find jobs, and she is NEVER mean about it. She doesn’t hurt other’s feelings or try to mess up whatever they’re working on. She always looks for the best in others, even when the rest of us don’t. That’s a kind person. So that is my project for today-merely lend a helping hand wherever you can and your life will get a little bit better and God will recognize your actions every time you do. 

You may be wondering why I am telling you this, and the reason is to show you the difference between a kind person and a not so kind person. However, I want you to think of this-just because you are kind does not guarantee us a spot in heaven. We could be one of the most thoughtful people who has ever lived, and help the community, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that what we do privately are good things. Drugs, alcohol, adultery, NOT believing in God, could infest your life and take you on a downhill journey to a bad place. And just because you are an unkind person does not necessarily mean that you aren’t going to heaven, either. Does this make it harder to make it to heaven? YES. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t make it there. It’s an uphill battle, but if you fight hard you WILL storm the castle of heaven.