August 22, 2013
Kindness Makes a Positive Difference
Last night at the fellowship dinner before Wednesday night Bible study at the church I’ve been attending for the past 17 months here in Northern California, there was this man in the house of God who had some hand-made bags and skirts from Africa that his brother brought over on a visit (and this brother in Christ was also there last night) and they were selling them to raise money for their church and the homeless in Africa. I wanted to contribute but money is very tight for me so I couldn’t afford one of the bags I had my eye on that is beautiful. I wanted to give something for the homeless though so I gave $5 (which was all I could spare) and the man I gave the money too was very thankful and told me that my donation could buy two meals for the homeless after I mentioned feeling bad I was unable to give more. One of the members of the church picked up the bag I had been wanting for myself but couldn’t afford and I casually mentioned I had been looking at that bag but couldn’t afford it and he bought it for me! The man selling the bags and skirts gave my Spiritual Brother the $5 I had donated and said that I had given it to him for a donation. I gave what I had to give to a good cause, I got blessed in return and because someone else was kind to me and bought the bag I wanted for me, he was blessed with the cash back from the other man and a hug and a heartfelt thank you from me. The two men who were raising money for their church in Africa and to feed the homeless were showing kindness by selling hand-made bags and skirts. The brother in Christ at the church who bought the bag for me showed kindness towards me once again (and has on several other occasions) and I tried to show my kindness by donating the money and then being thankful to the person who bought the bag for me.
This is just one example of someone else’s kindness towards me at the church. There have been times where I didn’t have enough money for groceries and some of the church members/spiritual brothers and sisters gave me some money so I could eat. There is also the time I was sick and one of my Spiritual Sisters brought me some chicken noodle soup, tissues, and toilet paper (I was almost out) and when she gave them to me, she told me to feel better soon. And it is not just within the church that others have shown me kindness. Random strangers have told me “Jesus loves you” on days when I was feeling down and was walking to buy some groceries or on my way to church. I also do my best to show kindness to everyone (including strangers and enemies) because when someone is in need (whether it be of money, food, or encouragement or love), it is important to be kind to them and help out when you can. I do not know where I would be without the kindness of others, and I like to believe my acts of kindness make a difference in other people’s lives too.
Showing kindness towards others is important. Be kind to everyone whether they are physical family, spiritual family, friends, significant others, relatives, strangers, and even enemies. You never know when you will need that other person’s help. I didn’t really need the bag in this instance but there were times I have needed the person who bought it for me for a ride back from church service at night in the dark. I have always been nice to him and he is always nice to me. Also, you never know how badly the person you are helping or showing kindness too needs it (if it is a stranger or someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time or don’t know very well) and your help and your kindness could mean a lot more to them than simply doing something nice for them. For instance, if you are kind to a non-believer or a skeptic who wants to believe, your act of kindness could be what makes them decide to turn to the Lord and be saved.
Kindness can come in many packages. It could be as simple as smiling at someone, holding the door open for others, or a greeting of hello. Or, you may see someone struggling with grocery bags and offer to help. Maybe (for those of you who have cars or other forms of transportation that allow 1 or more passengers) you see someone walking and it looks like they could use a ride so you offer them a life (especially if you know the person but sometimes even if you don’t know the person walking who needs a ride). Now I am not talking about driving them over the state line or to another country, but if they are going a short distance, or going a long distance but you know where the closest greyhound bus station is you could drop them off. These are just examples of how you can show kindness towards others by doing something nice for them. There are many more examples I could give but it would take a long time to write them all down and would take several pages to write them all down in. What is something you can think of to do for someone else out of kindness? Who could you help? Even the smallest gesture (like smiling) can help make someone else’s day better.