Recently, we treated ourselves to a Chick-fil-a milkshake. As we approached the drive-through window, the employee came over and handed us our milkshake. As I handed him payment, he said, “I gotcha. It’s taken care of. Happy Easter.”
The generous driver in front of us picked up the tab, and we were blessed. This pleasant gesture caught us by surprise and reminded us kindness is still alive.
Kindness is contagious. The owner of a drive-through coffee business one morning witnessed a customer pay for her own purchase and also for the drink of the person behind her. The owner smiled as she told the next customer her drink had already been paid for. The second customer was so pleased she bought coffee for the next customer. This string of kindness, one stranger paying for the order of the next customer, continued for 27 customers.
We live in a world that is often short on kindness. In fact, some people get downright cruel. If we’re not careful, we can easily get calloused, crusty, and cynical. You’re nice to someone, and they take advantage of your kind actions. So, you raise your guard and you’re suspicious of another’s intentions. Or, you find yourself in a cut-throat work environment where each person looks out only for himself or herself.
Where does kindness fit in?
The believer understands God calls us to practice kindness. Why? Kindness makes an impact. Kindness is one way to let our light shine.
The Bible commands us to put on kindness (Colossians 3:12) and to be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32). Kindness is a deliberate choice. That kindness is commanded implies that we could choose to be unkind, harsh, or short. Kindness is a fruit of relying on God to help us live our life daily.
Jesus illustrates the importance of kindness in the story known as “The Good Samaritan.” Jesus was confronted by an expert in the law who asked, “Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus told about a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. Thieves assaulted the traveler, beat him, and left him for dead. A priest came down the road, but Jesus said the priest ignored the need. Another religious leader, a Levite, came upon the man but he would not help either. He, too, went on his way. Then, a Samaritan approached the wounded man and immediately showed compassion and kindness. He administered aid to his wounds, loaded the man on his animal, and took it upon himself to get the man to the nearest inn where he could rest and recover. The Samaritan even paid for the room!
This was an unexpected twist to Jesus’ story because Jews detested Samaritans. While the religious leaders who knew better and should have been more concerned looked the other way, this humble Samaritan responded with timely help. As the story developed, the real question was not “Who is my neighbor?” but “To whom should I act neighborly?”
Of course, the answer is “everyone.” A related question is “How is ‘being neighborly’ defined?” Through kindness, availability, usefulness, getting involved and assisting anyone in need.
As someone stated, “Be kind to everyone, for everyone is having a hard time."
How can you show kindness daily? Here are ten practical ideas to “get your wheels turning”:
I heard about a man who had a quirky habit. He carried a little can of oil with him everywhere he went, and if he passed through a door that squeaked, he poured a little oil on the hinges until it squeaked no more. If the gate was hard to open, he oiled the latch. He spent his entire life lubricating squeaky places and making it easier for those who came after him. That’s what God calls us to do.
Are you keeping your oil can full? Are you blessing others with kindness?
David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. For more information on MRBC and to find online worship options, visit www.mcdonoughroad.org. Visit www.davidchancey.com to see more of Chancey’s writings and to find out about his new book, Marvelous Faith: Pursuing the Faith that Makes Jesus Marvel.
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