For the hurting neighbor: How to show love, kindness and mercy

Photo by Andrea Tummons on Unsplash

Hello Crowned Royals! I hope you are doing good and are as excited as I am about the changing season. I love autumn and would not be mad if it was an all year-round season. I look forward to all possible autumn activities and cozy nights where I can write to you.

I had this thought last week about how easy it is for us to get so engrossed in our own lives ups and downs that we so easily forget about our neighbor. Who is our neighbor? Our neighbor is everyone! It is the person we walk pass in the store, the pan handler on the street, the teller at the bank, your co-worker, the person that lives next door, your close knit circle such as friends and family and the list goes on. The well being of our neighbor depends on how we show love, kindness and extend mercy to them. I wouldn’t say I have been at the best at showing love, kindness and mercy to my neighbors at all times and I know I don’t speak for myself. How well have you been looking out for your neighbor? I am most certain that not all our neighbors are excited about their lives and may be hurting, right now, they need your love, kindness and mercy just as much as you would want theirs if you were hurting. It shouldn’t surprise you that alot of what we call our society or community walks hurt, talks hurt and continue to deal with life hurt. You may not be a hurting neighbor right now, but you do know how it feels to hurt from your personal experiences. I bet while you were hurting you appreicated the love, kindness and mercy that people showed to you and to some extent it helped you get through. So, why not show the same love, kindness and mercy to a hurting neighbor?

My heart was moved to think about the hurting neighbor after looking at a random post on facebook asking on who attempted suicide this year alone. The many comments that flooded that post overwhelmed me and from that one post, it was so evident that our neighbors are hurting. What broke my heart is that they were hurting that much that taking their own life felt like the better option as they thought no body cared about them. Showing love, kindness and mercy to these neighbors may not be as complicated as you think. Sometimes in life all what people need is a smile, a hug and a listening ear. Caring for another person shouldn’t feel like a chore that you hate doing and trust me there are several chores that I wouldn’t be opposed if someone else did them for me. According to the dictionary, care is defined as the feel of concern or interest or attaching importance to something. The word we would like to think everyone wants to hear is ”I love you”, but for the hurting neighbor we might want to start by saying “I care for you”. In some cases care could be misunderstood as providing provision of material things for someone’s well being, but it is more than that because care goes far beyond material provison. Care in the literal sense is the providing of time and effort to see another human being feel better about their situation. Many people are in dire need for people that actually care. People that care to listen, care to share, care to be present and that is to mention a few. Your might have to be that person for others right about now.

5 ways to show love, kindness and mercy to the hurting

I know there are several ways that this can be done, but I choose to share on these 5 ways and hope it resignates in your heart and pushes you to take a second and check on your neighbor.

  1. Give genuine care: Show that you care for someone, be genuinely concerned, interested and attach equal importance to all those you come across.
  2. Be a listening ear: This can be hard for most of us to do because we are always ready to talk, but when in conversation with a hurting neighbor listening can be of great help to them. Understand that sometimes the hurting neighbor already knows the solution, so your immediate advice or response/react is not not they may need at present, but just allow them to speak.
  3. Fellowship with them: Just like Jesus fellowshipped with the 12 and bigger multitudes, amongst themselves were some that actually hurt and needed to feel like they belong. So you follow the example of Jesus and fellowship together. The word of God does encourage us to do so. Fellowship can be a done through sharing a meal or even ashared fun activity or outing.
  4. Actions speak louder than words: We are not only to think of love, kindness and mercy as an after thought and carry on with our lives, but we are to be doing these very things that show them. Love in action looks like sacrifice, kindness in action looks like helping the our community and mercy on action looks like showing compassion to those that need it as much as we do when we are in need of it.
  5. Use your words wisely: You can speak to the hurting, but choose to be wise about it. Words have this way of either building or breaking others. How you choose to comfort or encourage the hurting is very crucial and should be done with much wisdom and be of genuine intention. The Bible says that words have the power to heal, bring life, bring health, crush the spirit, are life-giving and refreshing (Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 16:24 and Proverbs 18:4). Read one of my older blogs on how words can make or break a person for an indepth understanding on the power of words.

Start with these few steps and let the hurting neighbor know that you care. We are commanded by the word of God to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, which is one of the greatest commandments that Jesus spoke of in the new testament. (Matthew 22 v 39). This particular verse reminds me that the same love I show for myself, I should show to my neighbor and Visa versa. Unfortunatley, with so many hurting people, not so many are loving themselves enough to extend their love to others, but if you are able to do so, please be the one that is looking out for the hurting neighbor and letting them know that they are not alone. If you find it hard to do so, just reference to Jesus, he examplifed great ways on how we are to show love, kindness and mercy to the hurting neighbor. You can do the same too! It is time for us to make our rightful place! It is time for us to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love,

Xholiwe

The Power of words: Make or Break

Make a conscious decision with your words.
-Xholiwe

What a busy weekend this has been, but as always the weekend is never enough to get things done. I am glad, however, that I finally got my hands on my laptop because I would love to share on what is so significant in our lives and that is words. I am not talking about the words we use vaguely in our daily lives, I am talking about words that can either make us or break us.

We all remember that one great compliment that we received and how it brightened our day. We also remember that negative word that was spoken to us or spoken by us and it hurt us badly. Unfortunately, is it very easy to remember being called a failure than it is to remember that you were once successful in something. Why do words have some much power? Because words are the essence of all our lives, words can build our character and in the same way words can break our character. Ever wondered what happened to the sweet innocent girl from middle school that turned into an a mean girl in High School? No, it is not always puberty, but maybe along the way as she grew up she got bullied or was not spoken to in kindness by people around her.

The word of God makes it clear that words are powerful, with words God created and also with words God destroyed. In the same way, we can create and destroy, not just ourselves, but those around us. Let me talk about making for a second, as a child I was often told by my mother that I was smart and that I could do great things. My mother would remind me more of my strengths more than she did remind me of my weaknesses. Her doing so made me believe fairly quickly in my early childhood in myself and my abilities. She built my character in such a way that till this day, I am confident in my strengths and abilities. Making or building others takes us using the right words to encourage and uplift each others. Good words such as you are loved, you are wonderful, you are smart, you are unique and talented have a way of turning someone that felt like a zero to a champion. You don’t believe me? Ask the woman that was in a verbally abusive marriage and later on in life escaped and met the right person who told her she was loved. She will tell you that it changed her life and how she looks at herself. I am not the one to speak for the verbally abused woman since I have not experienced that, but I bet you that she is 10 times a better woman that she was in her previous marriage. There is something about using kind words that changes people and that shows you how powerful words are in our lives. Also, kind words towards yourself have a way of building you to truly understand who you are and believe in your abilities even when people around you want to break you. There is a sense of freedom that comes with using these words to free you from all that is not true about you.

Breaking words on the other hand are what we constantly need to heal from and it is unfortunate that so many people are surrounded by negative words. Breaking words/negative words can make champion feel like a zero, negative words have a way of breaking a person’s character to a point where they actually start to believe them. Yes, the son that was constantly called a failure by his father because he did not live up to his father exceptions believes that he is a failure. Negative words have a way of misrepresenting who we are and truth is the devil wants us to believe that because it would be easy for us to fall for his traps. When we focus so much on these words, it is very easy for us to lose who we are or who we are meant to be. Remember how I told you that it is easy to remember a negative word than it is to remember a compliment? Why is that? because negative words damage the spirit and with each negative word, it takes a little piece of you that is the essence of you. Eventually what happens is that the negative words outweigh the kind words and who you are supposed to be is buried under a pile of words. But do you have to stay there? No, you have break out and it may require a lot from you than just a couple feel good songs and a spa session. It is time to take your rightful place! Who told you breaking means that you can not be mended and made whole again? Tell that person that they are a liar because God is able mend all the pieces that where taken away from you because of negative words spoken over you. Believe me when I say this because I took along the journey of life have had not be spoken to so kindly and it had to take God to mend those broken pieces that where all bundled in a capable of negative words spoken over me.

Because I know words are powerful, I choose to be very cautious about how I talk to people and my choice of words. My suggestion is that you make a conscious decision with your words. Use kind words towards others, even those that are not so kind to you, you just never know what they are going through and your kind words might change their day.

Kind words are like honey—
    sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

Proverbs 16:24 NIV

Speak with love and respect for others and teach those around you to speak to you that way too. Parents teach your children to speak with love and respect for others because kids have a way of learning from you. Surround yourself with people that use words to build you, to encourage, to uplift you and help you heal from all the negative words you have heard about you. Read the bible, the word in that book is living and active! There are so many promises and truths about you that live in that word.

Final thought, proverbs 20:15 says, “Wise speech is rarer and more valuable than gold or rubies.” Be that rarer person that speaks wisely and kindly towards others, extend the same grace God has given you. Lastly, help others heal! we all still battle with some negative words that broke us along the journey of life.