3 minutes reading time (591 words)
Families & Friends
The Eleventh Commandment: Be Kind!
Recently we discovered this new publication, The Eleventh Commandment: Why Kindness Matters, written by Rich DuBose, Michael Temple, and Karen Spruill, with added support from her husband Timothy. The book is available from AdventSource. This authorship team is an amazing tapestry of Adventist pastoring, writing and sharing personal songs, publishing books, magazine editor, video film director and editor, legal advocate, and licensed psychologist with many years focused on suicidal situations.
The Eleventh Commandment is a meaningful summary of God’s desires for all of us as experienced and reflected through these four “real ground” personal life journeys. This opening front page statement by Richelle E. Goodrich clearly reflects and encapsulates their purpose and intent to help us be valuable Christians as we explore what it means and how to be kind:
“People think kindness is a soft, weak, submissive influence when in reality it is the most potent, persuasive force in existence.”
So let’s journey on and explore several meaningful thoughts. They write that “Jesus came to earth for two reasons: to show what God is like, and to awaken hope in those who are traumatized by life on this planet.” Yes, many people are traumatized for many reasons; but here in Kinship’s Families and Friends community, many parents and other family members have been bruised and deeply affected by our faith’s rejection and negative statements regarding our “rainbow” (LGBTQ+) family members. In addition, many faith employees are also suffering and having to remain silent because of personal or family “rainbow” situations.
Another statement to weave into our kindness tapestry is, “Any expression of religiosity that fails to relieve wounded hearts is based upon a different model of salvation than what Jesus has in mind.” We are unaware of any time Jesus judged and/or rejected anyone for how they behaved or felt. He often repeatedly shared how much God loved each one of us and how God wanted us to love each other in the same manner. As Matthew shared in 7:12, “Do unto others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
So being kind to each other can help create hope, dignity, and respect for everyone you connect with. John carries a special coin in his pocket from a dear deceased friend and leader who lived by this kind statement: “We all leave indelible fingerprints on the people we touch each day.” And when he would share this personal reflection, he would follow up with, “So try and make them soft and caring, not bloody and painful.” We heard this statement many years ago and have reflected on the “bloody fingerprints” we have naïvely left. Today Carolyn and I try and, hopefully, always leave soft and caring prints.
A well-known author, Henry James, also wrote this statement over 100 years ago:
Three things in human life are important:
The first is to be kind,
The second is to be kind,
The third is to be kind.”
Well, that certainly sounds easy, but it can also be difficult to do. Then we read this closing anonymous quote in this book’s preface:
“We don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another!”
Please kindly join us and let’s become a potent persuasive force for all our Kinship members and their “rainbow” families. Let’s weave family tapestries of kindness, love, acceptance, and support.
— John and Carolyn Wilt, Families & Friends Coordinators
Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International
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