Friday, February 10, 2017

Love Kindness by Barry H. Corey*

Discover the Power of a Forgotten Christian Virtue
*Highly recommend.
-Borrowed an inter-library loan.
This book challenged my concept of kindness and left me with lots to ponder!
Dr. Corey grew up with a father who bestowed kindness to anyone and to everyone,  to the extent Dr. Corey would blush from embarrassment.  As an adult, Dr. Corey realizes the power and necessity of kindness.
The foundation for many of his points is Matthew 10:40 "He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me."  A truly kind person is receivable; meaning that they are winsome and draw people to them by their authenticity, humility, willingness to listen, being present, and their willingness to mentor.
The point of being kind is to be receivable, not to be received.
Dr. Corey encourages Christians to engage with the culture (like Daniel as an exile in Babylon) and to be the leaders  in articulating ideas, being creative and being innovative, not retreating into our safe circles.
He also defines eudaemonism (pgs. 183-184) as the act of doing something virtuous in order for those who notice to think more highly of you.  One is not being kind if one stops doing the "kind" act if one is not being appreciated or acknowledged.  Sometimes the person being kind will be rejected.  If one is offended when kindness is met with ingratitude or has to anonymous or is rejected, then that is pride, not kindness.
Some phrases/sentences I want to remember from this book:
pg. 92 "Multitasking is the curse of presence."
pg. 151-152  "Inviting others to tell their story and caring enough to engage in that story is one of the powerful dimensions of kindness.  Everyone's ordinary is extraordinary if we give them a chance to tell about their journey."
pg. 163 "Hospitality is a Christian imperative, not an option."
pg. 182 "The way of kindness is a way of life.  . .lifestyle of loving our neighbor."
**pg. 192 "Pride more than anything else gets in the way of kindness, and it shows up in our aversion to being scorned.  If we dole out kindness in order to be received and thanked, we will dole out kindness only in safe places, places we know we will be accepted."
pg. 212 "Niceness lacks convictions.  Kindness has a soul, and it has fire.  Kindness doesn't cave in. . .calls us to stand strong. . ." pg. 218 "spirit of kindness does not mean a pliable core."
He repeats this theme throughout the book, "Live receivable lives with firm centers and soft edges . . .".
*1 Peter 3:15 supports the need to have firm convictions (centers) and soft edges (approaching people with gentleness and respect).

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