One summer a few years ago there was a man selling peaches and watermelons on the side of the road near my house. I noticed him and wondered about his life as he stood in the hot sun day after day.
Finally, as I was driving past this man yet again, I felt the Lord leading me to stop and give him some money. Knowing I had heard from God, I pulled off the road and told the man I wanted to buy some peaches. As he eagerly bagged them up, I also explained that the Lord had told me to bless him with some extra money.
I wish I had taken a picture of his response. His face erupted with a look of shock, disbelief, and joy all at the same time! He wept and then said he knew God had sent me—not to give him money but to pray for him. He explained that he was going to trial the next day for a crime he didn’t commit. He believed with all of his heart that I had been sent by God to pray for him. The man dusted off his chair and motioned for me to sit, and together we asked God to be his strength and defender. What joy I received knowing I participated in a miracle just by stopping to buy peaches!
It wasn’t difficult for me to show kindness to this man I had never met. He had never done anything to hurt or offend me. But real kindness shows mercy even to the one who deserves punishment and pays the debts of the one who can never repay. It delights in giving without expecting anything in return. Kindness was Jesus hanging on a cross praying for those who crucified Him by saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Jesus wasn’t afraid to roll up His sleeves and get dirty. He touched lepers, He spat on mud and then smeared it on a blind man’s eyes, and He washed His disciples’ filthy feet. That one always gets me. Feet can take a beating and I don’t want anyone washing mine! But this was how Jesus demonstrated what love really looks like. He was even born in a manure-filled barn just to show us there is no struggle He isn’t willing to share with us. True love expresses itself by coming alongside someone in their weakness, even at its own expense, and then sharing their burden. That is what the Lord does—He is kind to us in our frailty and covers our faults instead of condemning us.
In the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:7)
The more I discover the kindness of our Savior, the more I want to share His kindness with others. The world may tell us that kindness sounds passive and weak, but it’s actually a powerful weapon fueled by love that totally disarms the powers of darkness! When we practice kindness by laying down our lives for others, we enable God’s love to touch someone personally. That is power. That is influence. That is victory!
Kindness can be shown as a gift given, a helpful deed, or an encouraging word with no judgment or strings attached. Personally, when I have stepped out of my selfishness and been kind, even when offended or hurt (especially when offended or hurt), I have seen God change the hardest of hearts!
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (Col. 3:12–14)
Kindness is the evidence of God’s love, which breaks down barriers of the heart. Today let it shine through your eyes, touch through your hands, and bless with your words. Give, holding nothing back and expecting nothing in return. Who knows what the Lord may do through you as you let His love flow?
Father, forgive me for my selfishness. Thank You for showing me what kindness looks like through the gift of Your Son Jesus Christ. Help me to truly be kind today to everyone I meet. Help me be especially kind to those who are hurting and those who have hurt me. Express Your love to others through me. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
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