A little kindness

A man I know makes a point of smiling and saying something kind or encouraging to store employees at the check-out counter.

He says he does it because these busy people so often have to deal with sullen or angry customers.  They need a little light in their day.

It’s an act of kindness – a small one.  Yet it shows that this man’s heart is in the right place.

As a Christian, I know I am called to be kind.  Kindness is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as Paul says in Galatians 5:22.  And the Holy Spirit is within me so kindness should flow naturally if I allow the Spirit to fill my life.

We have all heard stories of acts of kindness which have had a profound impact on people in trouble.

Some years ago, our church followed the advice of Clare de Graaf in his book The 10-Second Rule.  De Graaf urges us to follow God’s promptings in our minds to help others – not waiting for a more convenient time.

People in our congregation found it was fun to be kind.  And heart-warming, too.

Sometimes, though, being kind does carry a cost – perhaps in a significant amount of time spent in helping someone else.  Or, it could be a financial sacrifice.  And, occasionally, we may not get the thanks we feel we deserve.

But Jesus clearly placed a lot of emphasis on kindness.  For him, we believers don’t have a choice – we must help.

A good example of Jesus’ thinking is the well-know story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.

Jesus uses the story to illustrate what the commandment to love our neighbour is all about.  While telling the story, he succeeds in skewering the self-righteous and legalistic Jewish leaders.

As you recall, a Jewish man was attacked and robbed on the road to Jericho and left for dead beside the road.  A Jewish priest and a temple assistant passed by, ignoring him.

But a passing Samaritan – despised by Jewish leaders – took pity on him, cleaned and bandaged his wounds, put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn where he cared for him and paid the man’s bill.

Too often, I am like the Jewish priest and the temple assistant – I don’t want my plans derailed.  I don’t want to be bothered.

But Jesus was telling us we should do what the Good Samaritan did.  He told the Jewish leader who tested him about who our neighbour is: “Now, go and do the same.”

He is saying that to me today.


2 comments so far

  1. Madeline Rhoda on

    Very good message , Bob. Thanks

  2. Robert Douglas on

    Thanks, Madeline.

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