One of the most common failings of all of us is the inability to apologize when we have done an unkind thing, or said an unkind word. Often, we are so choked up with shame for the thing we have done or said that the easiest opportunity to apol­ogize passes us by. As time goes on, it becomes increasingly difficult to say, “I’m sorry.” Nevertheless, there is little more important than setting right a wrong, and following unkind words or deeds with their opposites.

Unfortunately, we are not born with a built-in instinct for love of our fellow man. What comes easiest for us is usually the sharp, bitter word or thoughtless act. Kindness is something we must find deep within ourselves and bring to the surface. It is said that our attitudes reflect our inner­most being, and this is undoubtedly true. But! Our attitudes most often do not reflect that inner being in the exact way we would believe that it exists. In fact, if our tarnished and blemished outward at­titudes are a true reflection of our inner beings, then our inner beings are not the beautiful things that we would like to believe they are.

Kindness is the polish we put on our inner selves. It is something that can shine away those scars and scratches, and put a sheen on our outer attitudes and appear­ances also. For what affects the soul, affects the outer man also.

Kindness is what we most often associate with love. It’s the reflection of the love we hold in our hearts for those near and dear to us. But it must be extended! We cannot stop at being kind only to our friends and loved ones. Why can we not be kind to all the people with whom we come into contact?

How do we feel when someone does us a kindness? By far the majority of people appreciate it and thank, in some way, their benefactor. And perhaps, they add their benefactor, who is their friend by deed already, to their list of friends and loved ones. What an easy way to gain friends! Since a friend is someone who cares for his friends, and is kind to them, we see that in doing a kindness, we gain friends, and influence them to do kindnesses them­selves.

The fight to be kind is an unending battle that is never completely won. But it is one that is well worth fighting and the rewards the great and soon coming.

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

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