Examining our motives

Recently I have been reflecting on exclusion and inclusion and thinking about FOMO fear of missing out. So today I wanted to explore this further.

When we enjoy life we want to share it on social media. We show the celebrations, parties, events, holidays and so forth.

But some people are really struggling at the moment, don’t have any money in this cost of living crisis and are barely managing to make ends meet. Or facing other hardships. Is there a way we can support one another and not make each other feel worse about our situations?

I think it comes down to sensitivity. We all want to share our joys and sorrows with friends but if the motive is to make another person feel lesser than or excluded then that is not kindness. It is not always possible to get it right, but thinking about how another person might feel if they are not having the easiest time is a very good starting point.

And if you are struggling and finding it hard to look at other people’s joys, then maybe come away from social media for a while. This gives you the chance to focus on your own life for a while. Social media is a tool not a necessity.

Inviting someone round just to check they are okay is a really helpful thing when someone may be lonely or sad. There is a mental health crisis at the current time in the UK and life is hard for many many people.

I think it is really important to consider our impact upon others. If we are prospering then that is great but perhaps reflect on how we can share this with those who are not having an easy time-maybe just giving to a food bank or charity or doing some volunteer work. And let’s be supportive to friends, particularly those who are struggling. Reach out to them to see how they are getting on.

We can’t always include everyone but let’s be mindful of people who are on their own and also those who may be overlooked. Making someone feel special is a real gift. The opposite-making someone feel excluded or lesser than is unkind and this can very easily happen.

So let’s examine our motives and maybe consider our impact upon those around us. Are we making someone feel included or excluded? Especially family members that we care about-are we giving time to visit or call?

As always comments are most welcome. And a huge welcome to new followers and thanks for reading.


A recipe of kindness

I thought I would write a little recipe of kindness today for those who might be looking for ideas.

Firstly kindness is a free gift-for those who are struggling financially this is good news. So spending money isn’t always the way to show kindness. It is lovely to receive a gift of any amount but it is equally lovely just to have someone think of you.

Here is today’s recipe with five ingredients. You may wish to use some or all of them

  1. Smile at someone today
  2. Thank the [person serving you at the checkout and wish them a good day
  3. Ring a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while
  4. Clear up in the kitchen for your partner or family
  5. Send a card to a friend with some lovely words in

Saying no is not being unkind

What does it mean to be kind and yet to say no? is it unkind to say no when someone asks you to agree to something? How do we respond?

My view is that sometimes when it doesn’t feel right it isn’t. And saying yes to please another person isn’t the best-it has to work both ways. People pleasing isn’t ultimately healthy. And in some respects it is unkind to myself not to look out for my own interests. It isn’t being selfish to be kind to oneself.

Setting boundaries– sometimes people may ask things of us that is outside our comfort zone. This may stretch our resources or time and ultimately be detrimental. I believe that we can only give when we are in a good place and there is nothing wrong with holding back sometimes.

And what if it jeopardises a relationship to say no? If a relationship is healthy it will stand. The other person may expect you to agree and may be surprised when you say no. But if they then take umbrage with you, I would argue that is their problem, It is very easy to get into unhealthy territory and saying no is just being honest, as long as it is done in a respectful manner.

I would usually always try and help another person but I have realised over time this is not always possible and sometimes I am not the right person to help. I think that saying no sometimes is positive because it shows that one is truthful and honest about what can and cannot be offered.

Kindness is really important but kindness does not mean always saying yes. I think this is perfectly illustrated with children. Children may desperately want a new toy and sometimes this is not possible and saying no teaches them to accept boundaries. Children who always get what they want do not learn the value of having to wait or that no means no. And I would argue this is not ultimately the best way of helping them navigate the world,

As always, please feel free to comment or disagree. I am sharing some thoughts and really welcome your views.

The power of kindness

Today is the final post from the lovely Stella Doggett/ I hope you have enjoyed her guest posts.

I love kindness!! It sounds so soft and gentle, and yet it is one of the most powerful attributes that our God has. We have considered God’s kindness on previous days, and looked at how Jesus expressed kindness at the time of His Passion, but let’s look again at this beautiful fruit.  It is so close to love that often they are blended. The psalmists, for example, sing and write about ‘loving kindness’ over and over again, even declaring that the Lord’s loving kindness is ‘better than life’, Psalm 63:3, AV. And in 1 Corinthians 13:4 we read ‘love is patient and kind’, and that is our God.

Paul notes the powerful part that God’s kindness plays in leading us to repentance, and into relationship with Him, (Romans 2:4), and we see how that works as we look at how Jesus touched the lives of those who were expecting anything but kindness from Him. People like the Samaritan woman at the well, who had had a few too many husbands, (John 4:7-26), the woman caught in adultery (John 8: 3-11), and Zaccheus, the social pariah. (Luke 19:1-10)

Then there are all the unexpected acts of kindness that we see happening as Jesus meets and mixes with people in all kinds of different circumstances. There’s the widow whose only son had just died, who sees Him resurrected before her eyes, (Luke 7:11-15); the making of enough food to feed a vast crowd at the end of a long day, (Luke 9:12-17); the making sure His mum was going to be cared for as He died, (John 19:26,27); and choosing to appear first to a weeping Mary, in the garden after His resurrection, (John 20:10-17).

As I read through the gospels it’s hard to choose only these illustrations because there is just so much kindness coming from Jesus on every single day of His three years of ministry. Kindness just flowed from Him almost like He couldn’t stop it. Oh but wait! Of course! God’s heart is just full of kindness so He couldn’t stop it, could He? It’s who God is. Jesus said He had come to show us what the Father is like, to reveal the Father to us, saying to Philip, ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.’ John 14:9.

Jesus is our visual aid, into the kind heart of Father God; the God who, when asked to show His glory, revealed His goodness and loving kindness. (Exodus 33:18,19 AMP). When Jesus turned water into 160 gallons of wine to save a family’s reputation at a wedding, that kindness we are told, revealed His glory. (John 2:4-11). And so we see that the glory of God is manifested in His kindness. No surprise then that one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is ‘kindness’. Father Son and Holy Spirit are kind, and if the Spirit is flowing through us, kindness will be in evidence. Kind words and kind deeds.

As we thank the Lord for the kindness He has shown to us, and thank Him for all the kindness that we read of in the bible, we can expect kindness to flow from our inmost being too. Then we can also thank the Lord for every opportunity He gives us to let that same kindness flow from us. Thanksgiving ‘primes the pump’ and lets our kindness flow to the ‘undeserving’, the difficult ones, the stranger and the outcasts, as well as to our friends and family and those we love.



The fruit of the Spirit that is kindness will make you like your heavenly Father. Kindness can even disarm and win the hardest of hearts, so thank Him for the opportunities He gives you today to show kindness. Thanksgiving will help you over the threshold of, “not now, it’s not convenient”, or “that’s just a little thing, they won’t notice anyway,” and other objections that we may raise to those instant acts of kindness.

Thanksgiving for the opportunities to be kind will help you to let ‘kindness’ flow, and it will help you not to underestimate the power of even the smallest act of kindness in a person’s life.

Record those opportunities below, and you might be surprised at just how many He gives you. This will then heighten your awareness of just how much kindness is in the heart of our Heavenly Father, and how much of His kindness you can bring into the world every day, bringing glory to God.

The Lord’s kindness to Peter after Peter’s failure!!

I was thinking this morning about how kind the Lord was to Peter during His trial and crucifixion and then of course when He appeared to him after His resurrection. It struck me how different Jesus’ behaviour towards Peter was from the way that one might expect the leader of a group of young men to be with his friend, after he had been let him down so badly by him.

Peter is there in the courtyard, when the chief priests are trumping up false charges against Jesus. Jesus is being mocked, and vilified, and Peter, in Jesus’ hearing, denies knowing Him, or having anything to do with Him three times in quick succession, just as Jesus had predicted. It is not difficult to imagine that, had Jesus not been who He was, He might have yelled at Peter, “Tell them you know me, tell them I’ve only done good for people.” Had it not been Jesus, Peter may well have heard cursing and shouting unleashed over him, not because his leader hated him, but because he was experiencing pain and humiliation. The feelings of betrayal and abandonment might have caused him to rage, not just at his tormentors, but at Peter too.

But Jesus just ‘looks’ at Peter, and whatever it was that Peter saw in His eyes, we can be sure that it was not anger, bitterness, or hatred. Whatever Peter ‘saw’ in His face was not ugly, or tortured, there was no sign of Jesus wanting to hit out, or get revenge. In fact whatever it was that Peter saw, broke him. I think it may have been sorrow that he saw in Jesus eyes. Yes sorrow, not for Himself, but sorrow for Peter in his hour of failure. There was compassion, and yes, I believe Peter saw ‘kindness’ too, because Jesus knew the remorse that Peter was going to have to live with over the next few days. (Luke 22:54-62).

Then, after Jesus rose from the dead there is ‘that conversation’ that Jesus has with Peter by the lakeside. (John 21:15-19). As we listen in, we don’t hear any recrimination from Jesus, no harsh words, or even questions like, “Why on earth didn’t you listen to my warning?” or “What were you thinking Peter, to bail on Me like that?” We don’t even hear, “Well if you are going to be reinstated as a leader you’ll have to prove to me that you have learnt your lesson, and that you won’t let me down again!!”

No! The conversation that Jesus and Peter had was so simple and yet so tender and kind. As Jesus recommissions Peter, instead of a pep talk, He gave Peter three opportunities to declare his love. Three opportunities to make up for his denial, and Peter, who had reached a new level of self awareness and honesty, didn’t speak beyond where he was at. So in answer to Jesus first question, “Do you ‘agapao’ me more than these?” Peter says, “Lord you know that I ‘phileo’ you” with no claim now that he had any greater love than the other disciples. He has stopped trying to put himself forward as the best and bravest, and so he uses the ‘friendship’ word for love, not the ‘agape’ word for ‘sacrificial love’ used by Jesus.

Peter’s answer has shown Jesus that Peter has learnt that this is not a competition, and so the second time Jesus asks, “do you ‘agapao’ me?” He leaves out the part about being more loving than the others, and Peter replies again “Lord you know that I ‘phileo’ you”. He is not going to be tempted to go beyond the frailty he now recognises in his own heart. Then the third time Jesus asks the question He uses the friendship word Himself, “ Do you ‘phileo’ me’ and Peter, although we are told he is grieved at being questioned for the third time, responds again with, “Lord, you know all things, you know that I ‘phileo’ you”. He had reached that place of reality. He knows that Jesus ‘knew’ the answer to His questions all along. This was an exercise in helping Peter to be honest about himself.

We can only guess at the look in Jesus eyes as He asked Peter these questions. I even wonder if Peter was able to hold his gaze. I think probably, yes he could. Jesus had led Him, without rebuke or chastisement, to a place of honesty and humility. Jesus has restored him by kindness and compassion and can now disclose to him what his future role will be. Jesus commissions him with the task of looking after His ‘flock’. Now that is some restoration. It reminds me of Paul’s observation to some early Christians that it is God’s kindness that leads a person to repentance. Romans 2:4.

So how about us? God is so kind, but if we haven’t grasped that truth, we can sometimes be expecting a harsh rebuke from Him when we mess up like Peter. But Jesus was not looking for perfection before He tells Peter His plans for him, just honesty.


Activation….. Give God thanks today for His kindness. Your thanksgiving will enable you to live in His kindness. Then you can tell your story, and like Peter, let others know how good it is to be a follower of Jesus.

More of the Lord’s Kindness

A further lovely blog from Stella Doggett.

I believe the Holy Spirit would like us to continue thinking about the Lord’s kindness that He demonstrated during and after His passion. We will have a look at some more examples of this wonderful characteristic of our Saviour. We saw yesterday at how tender Jesus was with Peter after his denial of Him. He was even kind in His hour of pain and agony, to those other disciples and those who stood around the cross. I know that when in pain, or even in minor discomfort like feeling too cold, or needing some food or drink, I can become very irritable. That then makes it hard to think about the needs of others, or even stop the feeling of impatience with them and their needs; but Jesus’ level of kindness was amazing.

First of all there was His mother Mary. She had been told soon after His birth of the pain ahead for her as His mother, (Luke 2:35), and she had seen the gathering storm as He had pressed on with His ministry, regardless of the opposition coming against Him. So there is Mary at the foot of the cross watching her beloved Son dying in the most cruel way imaginable. So much must have flooded through her mind, and surely there must have been the hope that suddenly, at the last minute, He would be delivered by an army of angels.

Whether Jesus read that in her eyes, or not, we will never know, but He gently lets her know there will be no deliverance, not at this moment anyway. We are told that, ‘when Jesus saw His mother there and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Dear woman, here is your son”, and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” John 19:26. Even in this much pain and this close to death He takes care of her, kindly entrusting her wellbeing to His beloved friend John.

Then there is the very tender encounter with Mary Magdalene at the tomb, when she mistakes Him for the gardener. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” John 20:15. He lets her tell Him the cause of her grief before He says her name, as only Jesus could say it. There must have been so much love and warmth in that single word – ‘Mary’, because she knew immediately it was Him. It is just so beautiful that He chose to honour her by showing Himself to her first of all, the lady who had been so scorned by society and out of whom He had cast seven demons. (Luke 8:2).

Sometimes it was what Jesus didn’t say that shows us His kindness.  For example when He appears to the disciples locked in their room, still unbelieving and afraid of the Jews even though the women had told them that they had seen Jesus alive again. (Luke 24:11). Jesus’ first words are “Peace be with you!” and the disciples, John tells us, were ‘overjoyed’, John 20:20. There was no rebuke for unbelief, there was no questioning of their behavior when they all ran away when He was arrested in Gethsemane; He just lets the moment fill them with joy and delight.

We see the same thing with Thomas, ‘the doubter’. Jesus comes again to the gathered disciples and this time addresses Thomas, giving him exactly what he said he would need if he was to ‘believe’. Jesus shows Thomas His wounds and lets him touch them. (John 20:26,27). There is no rebuke, only a gracious willingness to let Thomas see and feel what he needs to see and feel. Thomas is met not with an impossible standard, but Jesus meets Him where he is at, and with great kindness..

Then there are the two on the road to Emmaus, who we are told were downcast, even though they had heard from the women that the angels had told them Jesus was alive. There was a rebuke this time from Jesus, a very kind one, “How foolish you are, and slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” They then get a great Bible Study, and finally Jesus reveals Himself to them as He breaks bread with them. (Luke 24:15-32).

I believe the Lord wants us to see His kindness, as it is revealed in these interactions with His very failing disciples. I believe He wants us to know that we will always be met with kindness when we turn to Him. This might be when we have been cowardly, disobedient, forgetful, negligent, or just fearful. The Lord will always meet us where we are, and know what we need to hear. He will always seek to lift us up and build our faith. Unlike the devil He will never put us down.



Today give thanks that you can always go to Him with your mistakes and He will deal kindly with you, with never a put down, or a harsh rebuke, but gentle correction.  If we can understand this it will change how we behave when we are aware of failure. Recognising that His voice is kind in these times will give us an expectation that even our failures will be turned into great opportunities to grow.

 Jesus’ kindness to His disciples after His resurrection.

A lovely further post from Stella Doggett

These past few days we have been thanking Jesus for the incredible reality of His death and resurrection on our behalf. We have moved through the darkness of the trial and crucifixion and into the light and glory of His victory as He burst out of the tomb on the third day. From that day, for quite a few weeks before His ascension, He showed Himself to His followers many times and in many different places, and I can imagine that He must have really loved this part of His ministry on the earth.

How wonderful for Jesus to see the incredulity and the delight on those faces that had been so bewildered and sad. They were the faces of the followers He dearly loved; friends who had walked along side Him for three years. He had tried to explain it all to them at the last supper, but they had been unable to comprehend what was about to happen, and had understandably been devastated by the events that took place.

Jesus demonstrated such kindness by appearing to them and coming among them during those weeks that followed His resurrection. I’m thinking that He could have just risen from the dead, left an empty tomb and perhaps just ascended to His Father, leaving the disciples to work out in some mystical way that He was alive and in heaven, and that now they were to carry on with His mission with the help of the Holy Spirit. It could have been like that, but no! He let them see Him, let those who needed to feel Him touch His wounds. He ate with them and taught them, explaining so much to them in those few, but wonderful, days.

I think they must have laughed a lot together at His wonderful victory over death itself. They probably cried a little too. I love it that Jesus just turned up unexpectedly, albeit purposefully, on various occasions and in different situations. I am so glad that some of these moments were recorded for us, and that we can savour them through the written word. The main record of these appearances are in the last two chapters of John’s gospel, and true to  John’s character we can see, in his recounting of these , how deeply personal and meaningful those encounters were to the different individuals involved.

 Certainly there were some very tender moments and some, like Peter, were restored from their sense of abject failure and given a fresh commissioning and fresh hope. To the grieving Mary He just spoke her name – that was enough. To the confused friends He met on the road to Emmaus He gave explanation. To the doubting Thomas He gave the encounter and the touch that he needed in order to believe. And to the hungry and tired fishermen, who’d caught nothing, He gave a miraculous catch of fish and a welcome breakfast.

So today, let us thank the Lord that He rose from the dead, and that He then revealed more of Himself through those post resurrection encounters. Let our thanksgiving fire our own faith that, when we are confused, or bewildered, when we have messed up, or are even feeling abandoned by the Lord, there will be a resurrection moment and a time when He will reveal Himself to us more clearly.

So often our personal ‘faith’ breakthroughs come after some kind of death and resurrection experience. He doesn’t have to come, but He does come to us, like He did to the disciples, making Himself known to us in unexpected ways and sometimes in unusual places. Sometimes He explains to us what He is doing in our lives and sometimes He doesn’t need to as He holds us like a child and comforts us with His presence. 


Activation….. We have a God who has defeated death, and a God who called Himself the Light of the world, the Light that no darkness could overcome. Keep thanking Him for that wonderful victory on Calvary. Your thanksgiving will grow your faith that the Jesus who revealed Himself to His followers with such kindness, will show His kindness to you when you are in need of ‘seeing’ Him in order to believe afresh for yourself.

The Kindness of God

Today’s blog comes from someone who exemplifies kindness-a dear friend named Stella. Stella has written a book and here is some information:

These posts come from Book Two of a four book series entitled, ‘Thanksgiving. The Power to Transform Your Life.  By Stella Doggett.

This book contains the second three months of a year’s Daily Devotional reflections which started life as a daily Blog in 2021. You can find all 365 on coloursoftherainbow.org, or if you would like to know more about Stella or her work, or would like to order a book you can email her on stella@lifetraining.co.uk

Leading up to Easter, I will be posting some reflections on the deep deep kindness of God.

A huge thank you to Stella for her contribution. Enjoy!

The Kindness of God

Kind is defined in the Oxford English dictionary as being ‘of a gentle or benevolent nature, showing friendliness and affection’. It is a beautiful quality, and not one that is easy to define or quantify, but kindness is something that we know and recognise when it is extended to us.

Kindness can often be the thing that ‘undoes’ you when you are hurting, or struggling to hold yourself together. It is something we see much of during a crisis or disaster, and to be on the receiving end of kindness implies that we are in receipt of something that we have neither earned, paid for, or have a right to. It could be something simple like an encouraging word spoken to us showing us care and understanding, or someone who has been paid to serve us like a nurse, going over and beyond the call of duty, to ensure our safety and comfort.

Kindness is something that we can all give and receive, but it is not something that one necessarily associates with the power and might of someone who is infinitely superior in every way. Relationships with a power imbalance can be unhealthy for the one with the least power as often, when someone has power and/or superiority it may lead to bullying, manipulation and forcing people to do what they don’t want to do. The exact opposite of kindness!

When we receive ‘kindness’ on the other hand, it shows us that the giver of that kindness has an understanding of us and our situation, and that they have a ‘care’ for us and our well being. How wonderful then that our ‘all powerful’, omnipotent God reveals Himself as ‘compassionate, and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth;’ Exodus 34:6 NASB. This is how God revealed Himself in the Old Testament, and then Jesus came to demonstrate for us what God’s kindness would look like in human form.

I love it that quite often the translators of the bible put kindness and love together to describe this characteristic of God. And there is such extravagant language here – our God is ‘abounding’ in this wonderful quality, no shortage here! We have the most amazing God. He is omniscient and omnipotent; all knowing and all powerful, and yet He is wonderfully kind.

Kindness is one of the hallmarks of God in His dealings with us. It is an essential part of His nature. We know this because it is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit, although it may be one we pass over sometimes in favour of love, joy and peace!! Galatians 5:22. Paul reflects, in Romans 2:4, that God’s kindness, can actually bring people to repentance and into His family. No coercion here only love and grace and kindness to draw us!

David and Jonathan knew all about this quality of God’s – this kindness. We read that, before he died, Jonathan asked David to show him the loving kindness of the Lord by extending that same kindness to anyone left in his family after he and Saul had gone. (1 Samuel 20:14,15). This David did by asking, ‘Is there no one still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?’ 2 Samuel 9:3. It was not something Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, was expecting. David had the power, Mephibosheth none!

David well understood God’s kindness and many of His psalms are thanking and blessing God for that ‘loving kindness’. He had such a grasp of this aspect of God, and he revelled in it in his praise and thanks to God. We know that David was a man after God’s own heart, (Acts 13:22), and I believe the Lord wants us to be like David, learning to ‘see’ and revel in His overwhelming kindnesses to us. Giving thanks to God for all His kindness throughout the day, will do just that. And as you express your gratitude to Him it will surely heighten your awareness of His kindness towards you.



As you start (or continue) your journey into a lifestyle of ‘Thanksgiving’, sing or speak out loud these beautiful words that David wrote, and remind yourself of the wonderful thing that it is, to have a God who combines power and glory with kindness.

‘So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary to see Your power and Your glory. Because your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. So I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in your name….. You have been my help and in the shadow of Your wings will I rejoice’. Psalm 63:2-4,7. AMP.

The Kindness diaries update

Thanks to those of you who have participated in my journey with the diaries.

I intended to write daily throughout the year, but some circumstances prevented this. As I have said before, being kind to oneself is very important, and sometimes things just don’t work out as we hoped.

Kindness and compassion are almost twins, if not sisters. I think showing kindness and compassion to oneself is incredibly important.

What does this look like?

1. Not beating yourself up when you make mistakes.

2. Being open to new ways of looking at a situation

3. Asking for help from friends when you are really struggling.

4. Doing something lovely every day

5. Getting enough rest and sleep.

A warm welcome to all new followers. I really appreciate you signing up and hope you enjoy the site.

Kindness to those who suffer

As I write this I think of those suffering in wars around the globe and also in Turkey and Syria, battling homelessness bereavement and the fear of whta tomorrow may bring.

I have had a break from writing as you may have noticed. I set myself the challenge of writing everyday this year. And some stuff has been very difficult, so I practised what I precah and stopped writing for a while, to be kind to myself. Sometimes we need to just practice self-care, even if it means stopping a project or taking time out.

Suffering is a subject very dear to my heart. I think it isn’t spoken of enough because it will come to us all at some point in some way shape and form. And it really hurts.

So how do we help others who are suffering? I think it is important to be there for them, to listen and just sit maybe over a cup of tea. And be prepared to sit in silence if there are no words. Because sometimes silence is all that can be be said when the pain is too much. There may be tears and anger and many emotions too.

I think suffering also has benefits which may sound like a strange thing to say. It can shape the most beautiful empathic and amazing people, like Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned for much of his life.

What I feel very strongly, is that suffering is never wasted. It is a horrible thing to experience, but if harnessed, can produce powerful people who help others. Those who become campaigners for justice, having lost a loved one or who go on to speak in schools, to help children avoid getting into criminality.

I think it is important to speak about such things, to she the burden with our friends and of course to act kindly. To offer that cup of tea or a shoulder if needed. And sometimes a bunch of flowers doesn’t go amiss…

I hope you are all doing okay out there. Thanks so much to all of you for all your sharing and reading and engaging with the blog.