December 19, 2013
READ: Romans 12:7-9
If you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly (v.8).
My son spent his first decade of life in a warm East African climate. For his 10th birthday I used frequent flier miles and took him to the western part of America to experience snow.
Friends graciously opened their home to us while they were away for the Christmas holidays. When my son and I arrived we had just a garage door opener code to get in, but a fluke power outage prevented the door from opening. It was 9:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve . . . and we were stranded. Sheepishly, I knocked on the neighbours’ door and explained our situation. To my surprise, the family invited us to spend the night with them.
Like Job, the family opened their doors to complete strangers (Job 31:31-32), blessing us big time! When we walked in, they immediately whisked us to their garden to roast marshmallows over a crackling fire. Yum! Later my son and I stayed in their lovely guestroom and we woke up on Christmas morning to a huge breakfast and stockings filled with gifts from our thoughtful hosts (see Romans 12:7-9).
I love the Wikipedia definition of kindness: “Good and charitable behaviour . . . concern for others. It is known as a virtue . . . Research has shown that acts of kindness not only benefit the receivers of the kind act, but also the giver.” Kindness is also included in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). When we extend kindness to others, we glorify the Lord who “is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness” (Psalm 145:17).
This Christmas, like my new friends in Utah, choose to display the wisdom of Proverbs 3:3 and “never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.” —Roxanne Robbins
How have you found Proverbs 11:17 to be true?
How has God shown kindness to you? What happens when we live out this character quality before others?