Random Acts of Kindness
Random Acts of Kindness
This book was published in 1993. It does not claim to be a Christian publication but gives good thoughts on how we as Christians can demonstrate kindness in our lives.
Galatians 5:22-23 lays out the fruits of the spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If you are performing acts of kindness you are demonstrating love; you are in peace; it’s hard not to have joy as you show kindness, to be kind sometimes shows great patience; you are faithful as you serve others, and gentleness and self-control are part of kindness. Think about this as you read these thoughts on acts of kindness.
+ A small boy was struggling with leukemia, and when he was discouraged or particularly sick, a package would arrive with a little toy or book from the Magic Dragon to cheer him up. No one knew the identity of the Magic Dragon. After the little boy died the parents were sure the Dragon would reveal him or herself, but that never happened. The writer of this story vowed to become a Magic Dragon for some little child struggling with life. Who better to demonstrate Christian kindness to than a child?
+ ” I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no “brief candle” to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” George Bernard Shaw Read the statement again and insert “God” for “community”! Matthew 5:14-16 tells us to let our light shine that people may see our good works and praise God.
+One author wrote a story about while jogging every day he noticed an older woman sitting on the park bench with an even older dog. One day he noticed the dog was not with the woman, so he stopped to inquire about the dog and the woman begin to cry. The dog died the night before. The runner sat down to visit with her for over an hour. Each day the man and woman would greet one another, and he would stop on occasion to visit. The woman was very lonely but also very strong. Even though she was strong, she still needed someone to show her that she mattered. The author thinks about her when he is sad then smiles at the memory of her.
Taking the opportunity to show that people matter will bless us as much as the other person.
+ “Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.” Theodore Issac Rubin
+ ” For one week act on every single thought of generosity that arises spontaneously in your heart and notice what happens as a consequence.”
+ Ecclesiastes 11:6 “Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow---perhaps it all will.” The seed of kindness can work wonders.
+ In an Oakland, California, neighbors watched as Mary’s house and yard slowly decayed. Mary was an elderly, wheelchair-bound widow who could no longer take proper care of her house and yard. Two of Mary ’s neighbors went to the city’s Office of Community Development to get enough paint and supplies for her house. After painting the house, they took care of the yard. Performing this type of kindness takes a commitment and clearly shows the Christian spirit of a light shining for God.
+ “Little kindnesses will broaden your heart, and slowly you will habituate yourself to helping your fellow man in many ways.” Zadik
I’m not going to use any more examples of acts of kindness because we all know things we could do, but for whatever reason, we don’t. Maybe the reason is that we are so focused on ourselves we don't notice someone else’s needs. Maybe we don’t want to get involved. Could it be that we don’t want to take the time? Read the following quotes and think about the points these writers are making.
+ “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Mother Teresa
+ “Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh, be swift to love, make haste to be kind.” Henri Frederick Amiel
+ “No joy can equal the joy of serving others.” Sai Baba
+ “Kindness makes the difference between passion and caring. Kindness is tenderness; kindness is love, perhaps greater than love…kindness is goodwill, kindness says “I want you to be happy.” Kindness comes very close to the benevolence of God.” Randolf Ray
+ “If there is any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now and not deter or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” William Penn
+ “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motive. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.” Mother Teresa
About 30 years ago Larry West*, a personal evangelist, came to our congregation in Memphis to hold a personal evangelism class. His approach was to ask a simple question, “ if you died today, do you have any doubts about where you would spend eternity?” That seemed easy enough, so I asked that question to a young man who came with his girlfriend to our young singles class. His answer was “yes” so I ask him to if we could study and again he said “yes.” He never came to church again. I offered the young lady and her mother an apology, but they insisted no apology was needed. They felt like the young man showed his true colors, but that left a terrible memory in my mind.
We have a responsibility to help people build a relationship with God and Christ. I am not comfortable with trying to act as a personal evangelist. Demonstrating kindness can others build a relationship with God. There is a saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” If you open the door with acts of kindness and don’t feel comfortable conducting a study, many other people will lead the study. You can be an evangelist through an act of kindness.
Max Lucado in his book, On The Anvil, writes about a conversation with God while in silent prayer in church. He tells God he wants to do great things for him by teaching millions, do TV and radio work and speak to Congress. God comes back to Max and tells him to notice the fellow sitting next to him. He needs a ride home from church. Also, an older lady sitting near him needs a refrigerator moved. Max says but God “what about the world”? God’s answer, “Think about it!”
*Larry West is the father of Missy Robertson on Duck Dynasty.