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All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Kindness can be described as a few things: compassion, generosity, tenderness, sweetness. When fully developed, this fruit of the Spirit is the salt and light of the world. This makes people stand out in today’s society. It touches the souls of others and can cause tears to flow. There’s a golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (Treat others the way you want to be treated.)
There are plenty of ways we can practice sharing kindness with people. In this article, I’ll share a few ideas with you.
Greet People And Smile
I personally love when people greet me. It’s a form of respect from one fellow human to another. Smiling is communicating. It’s just as effective as a, ”hello”. As much as some hate to admit, we all need one another. Every relationship began with some sort of acknowledgment. Start with a smile, and if you feel led by God, start a conversation. That person may end up becoming a new friends of yours. Even if they don’t, you can still make a difference in their life.
One day, I had to go to Shoprite. I wanted to go to the one by my house, but God told me to go to the one across town. Although I didn’t know why, I decided to obey and traveled the 15 minutes to arrive there. In my parked vehicle, I prayed and said, “I don’t know why I’m here. But I believe you sent me so allow me to be aware of my surroundings. Show me where you need me.” Then, I went inside and began to shop as usual.
I was looking for a certain shampoo when an old lady turned down the aisle. Of course, I smiled at her. I had my son (who was only 1 1/2 at the time) in the cart. She expressed, “He’s so cute! How old is he?” I told her his age and she went on to tell me about her grandson. He had died and the mom passed away, too. Unfortunately, that was the only kid she had and she and her husband were too old to have more children.
The lady shared with me how she met her husband in Italy. They became US citizens in their young adult years. She expressed that she prays every night and she’s in so much pain over her daughter. Now, this may sound weird, but I hugged her. She cried and I comforted her by telling her that she will see her child and grandchild again. I told her God sees her and is with her. She knew that already, but maybe she needed to hear it.
God sent me there to console that lady and I know that. Maybe she had been suicidal or just needed a young girl with a child (like her daughter) to hug her. Only God knows. Nevertheless, I’m very happy I obeyed God that day.
At the end of most of Paul’s letters, he commanded the readers to greet certain people for him. All of scripture is God breathed, which means God put those greetings in there as a teaching to us. One reason we should greet others is because everyone is important to God. It can be boring reading through the genealogies of the patriarchs because we don’t know most of those people. However, God remembers them and says, “They’re important, include them in scriptures.”
Certainly never underestimate what God can do with a greeting and a smile. It could change the direction of someone’s life.
In the Bible, there was a man named Jairos. This man came seeking Jesus because his daughter was extremely sick. He was sure that Jesus could heal her and Jesus agreed to follow him back to the house. On the way there, a woman who was bleeding for 12 years reached out and touched the hem of Jesus. She was instantly healed. Jesus stopped and stated, “Someone touched me.” The disciples agreed and said, “We’re in the midst of a large crowd.” But Jesus explained, “Power went out from Me.”
The woman, who was terrified, came forth and told Jesus why she touched Him. She told Him her whole story. People like her were not allow in synagogues and had to be separated from people. An unclean person touching a clean one was a big no-no. This woman suffered for over a decade and could finally live a normal life. Could you imagine Jairos? “Hurry up Jesus, my daughter is dying!” Nevertheless, Jesus listened patiently to the woman. Once she finished speaking, He assured her she wasn’t in trouble and sent her on her way.
Afterwards, a messenger came from Jairos house announcing that his daughter was no longer alive. Poor Jairos. But Jesus told him to not worry, only believe and she will be healed. Jesus went to his house and raised his daughter from the dead.
The kindness in Jesus allowed people to interrupt Him (countless times in the gospels) and He helped all who came to Him. He lived to serve others.
Be Willing To Sacrifice
“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness.”
Love always costs us something. It could be money, an object, or time. If you want to succeed at being kind, you must be willing to sacrifice. Schedule in your planner things you know would help others. Call someone and show that you care. Send a gift to someone and brighten up their day.
Ask yourself this question: What do I want people to do for me? Then, take the initiative and do that for someone else. If you have a friend who enjoys food (like me), buy them lunch. It doesn’t even have to be expensive, just tasty. Or maybe your neighbor loves flowers. You can go to a store and buy a pre-potted plant.
It doesn’t take much to show people they’re important to you. Also, Jesus always carried money with him to help the poor. Try putting a certain amount aside and remain on the lookout for anyone who’s in need. You’re God’s hands and feet and the poor are important to God. Don’t forget about them.
Is there a certain kind of person that you tend to avoid? Is it those who talk too much? Or homeless people? Is there a culture you don’t understand? Make an effort to NOT avoid these people. Smile at them and be willing to converse with them. We’re all equal in God’s eyes.
Important: Be led by God. We can hurt people if our kindness is enabling bad behavior. Stay in tune with the Spirit and He’ll tell you who to help and in what way.
This can be the easiest when practiced. Truth is, there’s something good about everyone. An activity you can try is take one person each day and think of 3 good qualities they have. It’s easy to notice the wrong in people. However, you can practice pointing out the good of people.
Whenever you step out, try to compliment others and make it genuine. Maybe you like their hairstyle, or outfit. If the cashier give you excellent service, say so. Put this skill along with patience and your light will shine so bright!
Show Kindness To Yourself
God loves everyone, and that includes you! Focus on your good qualities and don’t meditate on your mistakes. Above all, be merciful to yourself. Treat yourself and make allowances at times. Take care of your body and make sure you’re getting enough rest. It’s foolish to think you can treat yourself badly and treat others good. After all, the scripture says, “Love others as your love yourself (Matthew 22:39).”
Get creative in ways you can treat others and yourself with kindness. Feel free to comment below any times God used you to bless someone else.