In Episode 5 of Season 3, Desireé digs into the fruits of kindness and goodness. Where they begin and how they flourish in this world. Fair warning, this episode is heavy and it’s coming for our hearts. It calls on the book of Romans for some heavy-hitting truth on kindness and goodness. You will be so glad you tuned in!
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Ciao and welcome to Life out loud. I am your host Desireé Melfi Bozzo. We are going to use this space to share experiences and help you find lasting unshakable unwavering unmissable with joy and gratitude. We're going to be throwing around encouragement, a little Ciao friends and welcome to episode 5 of season 3 of the Life Out Loud podcast. I am the creator of this podcast in your host, Desireé Melfi Bozzo. Thank you for spending your time in this space with me today. Our time is our most valuable commodity and it's one that I don't take lightly. So thank you, I hope this message is fruitful in your life. Speaking of fruit, as you may know, this season, we're making our way through the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5 in the Bible. The fruits and how much of them we are bearing are a good barometer for our lives. So if you aren't familiar with them, head back to the first episode of this season. And take a quick listen, it's going to give you the foundational knowledge that you'll need to live your best life and bear amazing fruit. If you've been hanging around in the space for season three, you know that Galatians 5 tells us that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Today, we're smack dab in the middle of that list talking about kindness and goodness. Now sometimes I feel like and maybe I don't know, maybe you're like me. Sometimes you feel like if I paid too much attention to the headlines, I can start to believe the lie that the world is unkind. Does anyone else out there do this? I do this. Me, it's me. I'm raising my hand. I think back on all my formative years of schooling and all I can remember our teachers emphasizing the importance of kindness, I find myself doing this in parenting our son, we have often heard ourselves tell him it's better to be kind than it is to be literally anything else in this world. It's not just something we say to raise a good and sweet boy, it's something in our home, we really believe. I think we can all close our eyes. And think of a person who's kind, just a kind, good, human. And a lot of times with that kindness comes other fruits. I think people who embody the fruit of kindness are the people who meet people where they are. And we can meet people where they are in showing kindness because God meets us where we are over and over and over. He has since the beginning of time. Since that first moment that he was with us in the garden. I think at the fall of mankind, a fall that broke the heart of God, He disciplined us and we lost the ability to dwell together in the garden with the Lord. But even in his punishment with us, he was still kind. He has continued for generation after generation to show His beloved people, His kindness, even in our brokenness and our sin. I think this is something profound that each of us can take and apply in our lives. My friends, kindness begins with us. It begins literally with ourself, meeting ourselves where we are in this moment in history. We start here and we show ourself kindness regardless of where our life is, at the moment. Maybe when we look at our life, it's where we always thought it would be, right, we always thought we'd be this age doing this thing with these people. Maybe it's not, perhaps more often than not, maybe it's not. But either way, we get to treat ourselves kindly about it. It's in this kind acceptance that we can create possibilities. After we start treating ourselves with kindness, we get to turn that kindness outward toward others. We get to meet people where they are and be kind. This doesn't mean liking or accepting the actions of others. And it doesn't mean letting people off the hook for bad behavior. It doesn't mean any of that. But it does mean showing people kindness, because that's what Jesus showed us. When we put our faith in Jesus it means at every pass doing things to imitate the model of kindness He showed us. Now want to pause here I want to acknowledge something. It is super easy to be kind to people we like. But what about the ones we don't, how do I say this? What about the ones we don't entirely enjoy? Because that's a real thing, right? What can we do with the ones that it's hard to show kindness to? Well, like I do, I asked that question. And then I started digging. I peeked over at the Old Testament, and then I peeked over at the New Testament. And I looked in Mark, because that shows Jesus as a servant, and I looked at Luke because that shows Jesus as a man. But then I settled into Romans. It's right after the book of Acts. And just before First Corinthians. Interestingly enough, one of the themes of Romans is the importance of unity. And this, my friends, is where kindness to those we don't entirely enjoy comes in. Paul was writing Romans to the church in Rome, but he could have been writing this to us today, like literally today.Romans 2:
1-4 says, You therefore have no excuse you who pass judgment on someone else, where at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgmentdo the same things. Oh, that was convicting to my little heart. Verse 2 continues, that was only verse one, verse two continues. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you mere human, pass judgment on them, and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? Whoa, that was heavy. But then again, Romans always is. I read that, and my heart was really, really convicted. And I felt really, really icky. After the Scripture hit my heart, like a ton of bricks, it all started to make sense. The reason there are people we don't entirely enjoy might just be an ugly truth about us. I know, right? I won't look at you, you won't look at me, we'll just kind of hang out by ourselves and try and process this because it's gonna get, it's gonna get deep this is comin' for our houses today. So maybe we don't entirely like them. Because we're too busy judging them. Could that be a thing? I didn't see that coming. Did you? No, I definitely didn't, when I started off talking about kindness. Our amazing God is one of kindness, forbearance and patience to his most unruly at times creation. And if God can do that with us, how can we not do this to everyone? I don't know how your heart is feeling right now. But after I got digging, through the fruit of kindness, I needed to hit my knees in repentance, because there was some judgment hiding behind that really pretty little facade of, you know, not really enjoying some people, right? Ughhh, welcome to being human. The constant work in progress every day, on this side of Heaven. Friends, kindness is a choice that we get to make without judgment of another. Every day, in every moment in every situation. Easier said than done. I know. But gratefully, we have the perfect model to follow that Jesus showed us. And so with that, now that we've dug deep into kindness, I want to mosey on over to the fruit of goodness. In Genesis we see over and over God creating something and deeming it good, this shows us that which the Lord creates is good. Romans 12:9 tells us to hate what is evil and cling to what is good. And to cling to something means to hold tight to it. I think of the things that we hold tight to in this world. They can be really good and they can be really bad. And we hold tight to them for one reason or another. We all cling to something. So the illustration that kept coming to mind as I was researching goodness was being – this is terrifying – being in an ocean in the middle of a storm with no boat. Told you terrifying. There's lightning overhead. There's dark thunder clouds and the water and the whitecaps threaten to pull us under. In the middle of a storm were thrown this this life raft. If that was you in that situation, what would you do? I know what I would do, I would cling to that raft, I would cling you that raft with every fiber of strength in my muscles, I would have a white knuckled grip on that raft so tight, that there is nothing that can tear me away. And I would cling to it until I was pulled to safety. As you probably realize the storm in that illustration is life – our circumstances. What is the raft? Well, my friends, depends on what you're clinging to. I truly believe, to cultivate the fruit of goodness in our life, that raft needs to be truth. It must be the word of God. If we don't know what God deems good, and what God deems bad or evil, we don't know, we won't know, what true God filled goodness looks like. We won't have any idea because we don't know what we don't know. My friends, I don't know about you. But if I can be honest, in the safe space, I can tell you that I have lived long enough to know that without the solid foundation of truth and scripture in my life, I am tempted to choose what is not good. Let's be honest, sometimes the worst things for us are literally the most enticing. Can anyone out there relate? Because of this fact, right of what it's like to be human. I need to know what the Bible says. It is a knowing what His Word says that we are able to live it out in our life. We're able to make choices to cling to goodness. And then we can cultivate that fruit in our life. We get to know what the scripture says. And as different life choices come up. We can choose them powerfully. Friends, I hope that you enjoyed episode five of season three. I know it was heavy. And I know some of it was hard to hear because trust me it was hard to learn and write and produce. I hope, kindness and goodness are fruits that you can cultivate in your life. They have the power to change things for the very best that I will promise you. My lovely friends, come back next time. Let's throw more encouragement around like confetti. But be careful. As always, if you get too close, you're gonna get some on you. Remember, there is always always always something to be thankful for. Ciao. Thank you for joining me, Desiree Melfi Bozzo for this episode of Life Out Loud. I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment. Tell me what topics you want to talk about and how you take your coffee. If you enjoyed what you heard, text a friend the link share it on social media. Or if you're interested in becoming a supporter, be-bop over to my webpage life out loud.me and sponsor a cup of coffee that keeps this podcast fueled. Until next time sweet listeners!