FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: CHINESE NEW YEAR EDITION
Given the humble groundnut’s impressive array of health benefits – monounsaturated fats, protein, antioxidants, other awesome nutrients, and low GI – we can see why it represents longevity in Chinese tradition. You should probably choose it over other available options if you’d like to live to see many more rounds of CNY.
So remember to be kind to your body over the feasting season. But also remember that we are also called to love our neighbour as ourselves – to take a crack at kindness, if you will.
To be kind, we need to know what kindness isn’t. It isn’t blind tolerance of extreme, immoral, unkind behaviour. It isn’t adopting everyone else’s perspective – they are entitled to viewpoints just as you are entitled to yours.
Unfortunately these days, in the name of kindness, we’re encouraged to tolerate everything. It doesn’t help when familiar terms become ambiguous. We should be friendly – but within what boundaries? Generous – by whose standards? Considerate – but at the cost of morality?
It’s rarely clear-cut in a world where change is the only constant. We need God’s wisdom to be His kind of kind this CNY – to our friends and family, and those without.
As we munch on the hearty (and heart-friendly) goodness of peanuts, let’s take a crack at real kindness. It’s intentional, it’s fruitful, and it’s a means to a greater end.
Here’s how we put kindness into practice: By giving it away.
Kindness might flow naturally to some, but for most it takes effort. Like the little groundnut, it starts off deeply personal, cultivated deep in the ground, hidden from the sight. It must be fed – leaves and roots working in harmony – before it can grow, mature, understand.
And sooner or later, we must learn to act on the initial impulse, the pricked conscience, the Spirit’s promptings. There’s no point wanting to be nice if we don’t also do good (James 4:7).
Here’s how we put kindness into practice: By giving it away. Every groundnut you crack open this CNY is an opportunity for kindness – you’ve got two (maybe three) seeds for sharing! As freely as you have received from our good God, freely give (Matthew 10:8).
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)