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COLOSSIANS 3:12-17 | HUMBLE AND KIND

HUMBLE AND KIND

COLOSSIANS 3:12-17

JUNE 19, 2016

 

 

WE CALL IT THE GOLDEN RULE.  JESUS’ WORDS IN MATTHEW 7:12 – “IN EVERYTHING, DO TO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO TO YOU; FOR THIS IS THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.”

 

THAT LAST BIT – “THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS…” THAT’S JESUS’ WAY OF SAYING THAT THE GOLDEN RULE SUMS UP ALL OTHER LAWS, RULES, PROPHECIES, PRONOUNCEMENTS, ETC.

 

A SIMPLE RULE – ONE SINGLE LAW – AND NOT AGAINST SOMETHING, BUT FOR SOMETHING; ONE SIMPLE, POSITIVE WAY WE CAN GO ABOUT LIVING OUR LIVES: “IN EVERYTHING, DO TO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO TO YOU.”

 

END OF STORY.  END OF LESSON.  END OF SERMON… WELL, NOT REALLY THE END OF THE SERMON, BECAUSE I’M GOING TO GO ON FOR A LITTLE LONGER.

 

WHAT WE CALL JESUS’ GOLDEN RULE, THE APOSTLE PAUL IN HIS LETTER TO THE COLOSSIANS CALLS “LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.”

 

“AS GOD’S CHOSEN ONES, HOLY AND BELOVED, CLOTHE YOURSELVES WITH COMPASSION, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, MEEKNESS, AND PATIENCE.”

 

NOTICE WHAT ELSE PAUL SAYS CONSTITUTES THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, ESPECIALLY WITHIN THE BODY OF CHRIST, THE CHURCH.

 

WE ARE TO “BEAR WITH ONE ANOTHER, AND IF ANYONE HAS A COMPLAINT AGAINST ANOTHER, FORGIVE EACH OTHER, JUST AS THE LORD HAS FORGIVEN YOU.” – WE PRAY THAT IN THE LORD’S PRAYER EVERY SUNDAY MORNING!

 

WHAT ELSE DOES PAUL SAY?  “ABOVE ALL, CLOTHE YOURSELVES IN LOVE, WHICH BINDS EVERYTHING IN PERFECT HARMONY… EVERYTHING…

 

LET THE PEACE OF CHRIST RULE IN YOUR HEARTS… BE THANKFUL…

 

LET THE WORD OF CHRIST DWELL IN YOU RICHLY; TEACH AND ADMONISH ONE ANOTHER IN ALL WISDOM;

 

AND WITH GRATITUDE IN YOUR HEARTS SING PSALMS, HYMNS, AND SPIRITUAL SONGS TO GOD.”

 

WHY IS IT, DO YOU SUPPOSE, THAT WE SO OFTEN GO TO MUSIC, TO PSALMS, TO HYMNS, TO SPIRITUAL SONGS, AND OTHERS, TO EXPRESS OUR EMOTIONS; TO MAKE STATEMENTS ABOUT LIFE; TO EXPRESS OUR HOPES AND DREAMS?

WE ARE CERTAINLY GOING TO BE DOING THAT HERE THIS MORNING IN OUR WORSHIP.

 

THIS MORNING WE ARE SIMPLY GOING TO CALL ALL OF THIS: HUMBLE AND KIND;

 

WITH A TIP OF THE COWBOY HAT TO TIM MCGRAW WHOSE SONG/VIDEO BY THE SAME NAME WE ARE GOING TO BE WATCHING AT THE END OF THE SERMON.

 

WE’VE HEARD THESE THINGS ALL OUR LIVES, ESPECIALLY IF THOSE LIVES HAVE BEEN LIVED WITHIN EARSHOT OF A CHRISTIAN CHURCH SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY.

 

BEING HUMBLE, KIND, AND CALM IS THE “RIGHT THING TO DO.”

 

AND IF DOING THE “RIGHT THING” ISN’T ENOUGH TO CONVINCE US, CONSIDER THIS:

 

HUMILITY, KINDNESS, AND CALMNESS CAN ACTUALLY HELP US GET AHEAD IN LIFE;

 

THEY ARE VERY GOOD FOR OUR MENTAL HEALTH;

 

AND IT JUST MAY BE THAT THEY ARE GOOD FOR OUR PHYSICAL HEALTH AS WELL.

 

WHEN MANY OF US HEAR “HUMBLE AND KIND,” ESPECIALLY MANY OF US MEN, WHICH IS WHY I CHOSE TODAY, FATHER’S DAY, ON WHICH TO PREACH THIS SERMON;

 

WHEN MANY OF US HEAR “HUMBLE AND KIND” WHAT WE REALLY HEAR IS WEAKNESS AND A LACK OF SELF-CONFIDENCE.

 

WE HEAR THAT KINDNESS IS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS; AND THE TRUTH IS, SOMETIMES WHEN WE ARE KIND TO OTHERS, THEY DO TRY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF US; BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, THAT’S THEIR PROBLEM, NOT OURS.

 

BEING HUMBLE AND KIND IS NOT THE OPPOSITE OF STRENGTH AND CONFIDENCE.

 

SURE, CONFIDENCE IS THE KEY TO GETTING AHEAD IN LIFE.  IT HELPS US DO BETTER AT WORK, IN RELATIONSHIPS, IN DOING OUR BEST.

 

OVERCONFIDENCE, HOWEVER, CAN MAKE US SEEM LIKE A JERK.

 

WE ALL KNOW PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY ARE STRONGER, SMARTER, BETTER LOOKING, JUST THE ALL AROUND BEST AT EVERYTHING, AND WHO HAVE NO PROBLEM TELLING US SO, ALL THE TIME, WHO WE JUST, REALLY CAN’T STAND.

 

SO WHILE CONFIDENCE IS ESSENTIAL, IT’S IMPORTANT TO STAY HUMBLE AND KIND (THE TWO AREN’T AS CONTRADICTORY AS WE MIGHT THINK).

 

WE’VE HEARD A LOT ABOUT THIS OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS AS PEOPLE HAVE CELEBRATED THE LIVES OF BOXING LEGEND MUHAMMAD ALI AND HOCKEY GREAT GORDIE HOWE.

 

ALI – THE SELF-PROCLAIMED “THE GREATEST” AND HE PROBABLY WAS IN THE SPORT OF BOXING; AND GORDIE HOWE, NICKNAMED, “MR. HOCKEY” ALSO ONE OF THE GREATEST PLAYERS EVER, WERE BOTH – THE GREATEST AT WHAT THEY DID, BUT ALSO HUMBLE AND KIND IN SPIRIT.

 

IN THE COMMEMORATION OF THEIR LIVES, AND IN THE CELEBRATION OF THEIR CAREERS, UPON THEIR RECENT DEATHS, WE HEARD THE REST OF THE STORY, ABOUT THE HUMILITY AND KINDNESS BY WHICH THEY LIVED THEIR LIVES AWAY FROM THE SPOTLIGHT.

 

GREATNESS AND BEING HUMBLE AND KIND ARE NOT OPPOSITES; IN FACT, BEING HUMBLE AND KIND MAKES THEIR GREATNESS EVEN GREATER.

 

YOU SEE, PEOPLE RESPOND TO HUMILITY BECAUSE IT SHOWS THAT WE PUT OURSELVES AT THE SAME LEVEL AS EVERYONE ELSE, AND NOT ABOVE THEM; (SOUNDS LIKE… THE GOLDEN RULE).

 

AS I SAID A MOMENT AGO, THEY CAN ALSO BENEFIT OUR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL LIVES, AS WELL AS OUR PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH.

 

FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES THIS MORNING, INCLUDING PSYCHOLOGY TODAY AND THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, HERE ARE SOME OF THE WAYS OUR LIVES AND OUR HEALTH CAN BENEFIT FROM BEING HUMBLE AND KIND.

 

“HUMBLE PEOPLE HAVE HIGHER SELF-CONTROL.”

 

HUMBLE PEOPLE TEND TO KNOW THEIR LIMITS, AND BECAUSE THEY PLACE LESS IMPORTANCE ON SELF, THEY TEND TO EXHIBIT A HIGHER SELF-CONTROL IN SITUATIONS THAT ARE STRESSFUL, DIFFICULT, ANGRY, AND ANXIETY PRODUCING.

 

“HUMBLE PEOPLE ARE, ON AVERAGE, MORE HELPFUL THAN PEOPLE WHO ARE CONCEITED OR EGOTISTICAL.”

IN CONTROLLED STUDIES, PARTICIPANTS WHO WERE HUMBLE, WERE MORE LIKELY TO OFFER HELP, AND OFFERED MORE OF THEIR TIME TO THOSE IN NEED.

 

UNSURPRISINGLY, HUMBLE PEOPLE HAVE ALSO BEEN FOUND TO BE MORE GENEROUS.

 

FINDINGS ALSO SHOW, “HUMBLE PEOPLE ARE BETTER ABLE TO COPE WITH ANXIETY ABOUT THEIR OWN MORTALITY.”

 

INSTEAD OF ERECTING SELF-DEFENSES AGAINST DEATH, HUMBLE PEOPLE TEND TO FIND THAT IT PROVIDES A USEFUL PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE AND HOW IT SHOULD BE LIVED.

 

WHEN IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT US, IT MAKES DEATH EASIER TO CONTEMPLATE.

 

BUT IF YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO DO SOMETHING, TO PRACTICE BEING HUMBLE AND KIND, BECAUSE OF THE BENEFITS IT CAN AFFORD YOU, RATHER THAN IT BEING “THE RIGHT THING TO DO” OR “FOR THE GOOD OF SOCIETY;”

 

WELL THERE’S GOOD NEWS FOR YOU TOO!

 

BEING KIND IS GOOD FOR US.  A RECENT STUDY FOUND THAT THERE MAY BE A CONNECTION WITH POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF KINDNESS AND SOCIAL CONTACT WITH THE BODY’S VAGUS NERVE.

 

“THE VAGUS NERVE REGULATES HOW EFFICIENTLY OUR HEART RATE CHANGES WITH BREATHING, AND IN GENERAL, THE GREATER ITS TONE, THE HIGHER THE HEART-RATE VARIABILITY AND THE LOWER THE RISK FOR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE AND OTHER MAJOR KILLERS.

 

IT MAY ALSO PLAY A ROLE IN REGULATING GLUCOSE LEVELS AND IMMUNE RESPONSES…

 

THE VAGUS IS INTIMATELY TIED TO HOW WE CONNECT WITH ANOTHER – IT LINKS DIRECTLY TO NERVES THAT TUNE OUR EARS TO HUMAN SPEECH, COORDINATE EYE CONTACT, AND REGULATE EMOTIONAL EXPRESSIONS.”

 

MOREOVER, YOU KNOW THAT “GOOD FEELING” WE GET WHEN HELPING OTHERS?  YOU KNOW HOW WE SAY “IT’S BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE” OR HOW WE SAY “WE GET MORE OUT OF HELPING SOMEONE THAN THEY PROBABLY GET FROM US”?

 

THERE’S A REASON FOR THAT… A CHEMICAL REASON.

 

“WHEN A PERSON PERFORMS AN ACT OF KINDNESS THE BRAIN PRODUCES DOPAMINE, ASSOCIATED WITH POSITIVE THINKING.

SECONDLY, THE BRAIN HAS ITS OWN NATURAL VERSIONS OF MORPHINE AND HEROINE: THESE ARE ENDOGENOUS OPIOIDS, SUCH AS ENDORPHINS.

 

IT IS BELIEVED THAT WHEN A PERSON DOES AN ACT OF KINDNESS THEY FEEL GOOD ON A CHEMICAL LEVEL THANKS TO THE PRODUCTION OF THESE ENDOGENOUS OPIOIDS.”

 

YOU SEE, IT’S TRUE – WE CAN GET HIGH ON LIFE – AND ALL BY BEING GOOD DEED DOERS!

 

WHAT IF WE WERE ALL ADDICTED TO DOING GOOD DEEDS?  WHAT WOULD THAT LOOK LIKE?

 

SO LET’S REVIEW FOR A MOMENT:

 

BEING HUMBLE AND KIND, DOING GOOD THINGS, IS NOT ONLY “THE RIGHT THING TO DO;” NOT ONLY THE “GOLDEN RULE;” NOT ONLY WHAT IT MEANS TO “LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE;” IT IS ALSO GOOD FOR US!

 

IT’S GOOD FOR OUR BODY AND OUR BRAINS; IT IS GOOD FOR OUR HEART AND OUR PSYCHE (AND OUR SOUL); AND IT’S GOOD FOR SOCIETY.

 

JESUS IS RIGHT!  IT IS THE SUM OF THE “LAW AND THE PROPHETS.”

 

AND PAUL IS RIGHT!  “WHATEVER YOU DO, IN WORD OR DEED, DO EVERYTHING IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS, GIVING THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER THROUGH HIM.”

 

THAT’S WHAT PAUL MUST HAVE MEANT ABOUT LETTING “THE WORD OF CHRIST DWELL IN US RICHLY.”

 

BEING HUMBLE AND KIND, AS WE’LL SEE AND HEAR, AND READ IN THE LYRICS PRINTED IN OUR BULLETINS THIS MORNING FROM TIM MCGRAW, HAS TO DO BOTH WITH THE SIMPLE THINGS OF OUR OWN LIVES;

 

AND THE THINGS OF THE WORLD AT LARGE; WHAT IT MEANS TO GET AROUND IN THE WORLD, AND GETTING ALONG IN THE WORLD.

 

IN THE TRAGIC EVENTS IN ORLANDO, AND IN ITS AFTERMATH, ONCE AGAIN, WE’VE SEEN THE BEST AND WORST IN PEOPLE.

 

I’LL LEAVE IT TO OTHERS TO SPEAK THE WORST;

 

IN HERE – IN CHURCH – WHERE WE FOLLOW THE GOLDEN RULE; WHERE WE LIVE, OR AT LEAST TRY OUR BEST TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE; WHERE WE PRACTICE BEING HUMBLE AND KIND; I’LL SPEAK THE BEST.

FROM THINGS I HAVE SEEN, AND SO HAVE MANY OF YOU IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE ORLANDO TRAGEDY (MY HOMETOWN):

 

A PLAY ON THE WORDS FROM THE THREE MUSKETEERS: “ALL FOR LOVE AND LOVE FOR ALL.”

 

AND THESE WORDS ACCOMPANIED BY AN AMERICAN FLAG: “HATE IS NOT OUR STORY.”

 

AND THESE WORDS: “IF THE TRAGEDY IN ORLANDO LEAVES YOU HATING ANYONE OR ANYTHING OTHER THAN HATE ITSELF I BEG YOU TO TAKE MORE TIME TO REFLECT.”

 

AND FROM THE SONGS BEING SUNG, CITED, AND PRAYED:

 

FROM ZIGGY MARLEY’S SONG LOVE IS MY RELIGION:

 

“LOVE IS MY RELIGION

LOVE IS MY RELIGION

LOVE IS MY RELIGION

YOU CAN TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT

AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO BELIEVE IT

LOVE IS MY RELIGION”

 

FROM THE YOUNGBLOODS’ SONG GET TOGETHER:

 

“COME ON PEOPLE NOW,

SMILE ON YOUR BROTHER,

EVERYBODY GET TOGETHER,

TRY TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER RIGHT NOW”

 

AND IF REGGAE OR CLASSIC ROCK AREN’T YOUR THING, THEN HOW ABOUT WHAT WE SAID AT THE OUTSET?

 

FROM COUNTRY MUSIC STAR, TIM MCGRAW’S SONG HUMBLE AND KIND.

 

BY THE WAY, KAREN TELLS ME THAT LAST SUNDAY EVENING AT THE COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS THIS VIDEO WON COUNTRY MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR…

 

SO LET’S WATCH, LISTEN, AND IN YOUR BULLETIN FOR THIS MORNING, READ ALONG WITH THE LYRICS;

 

ON SECOND THOUGHT, THE VIDEO IS REALLY WORTH WATCHING, SO PLEASE READ THE LYRICS LATER OR WHEN YOU GET HOME; FOR NOW, JUST WATCH AND LISTEN.

 

 

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Pastor Daniel writes and posts a weekly newsletter that keeps members and friends of the congregation up-to-date. His earlier newsletters are also online, so if you missed something, check those past editions.

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