“It costs nothing to be kind” is a popular proverb floating around on social media.
As it is true, I hope that we have no problem allowing the Holy Spirit’s fruit to produce this seed in our lives.
That God is fond of kindness, there is no doubt; there are approximately 40 biblical references for kindness.
Usually, showing kindness to the people within our circle – family, friends, coworkers etc. – comes fairly naturally; but in 2019, I want to encourage us to think elsewhere.
Show kindness to foreigners.
Maybe you have never left your country, but for many people emigrating to a different place, even more than once during their lifetime, is a pretty common occurrence. And if you have ever done so, you know how lonely and bereft one can feel without the support of others.
Taking a tribeful of people into paths unknown would have been a bit nerve-wracking for Abraham, had it not been for God leading him and the kindness shown to him by others along the way.
Therefore when Abimelech was in the process of negotiating an agreement with Abraham, he reminded him of the kindness that he [Abraham] had received as a foreigner and asked that he be treated in the same fashion. (Genesis 21:23 NIV)
Too often we forget what it was like when we were in that vulnerable position of being an alien in a foreign land, and ignore or even malign and mistreat the foreigners among us.
Instead, let us ask God to soften our hearts to the plight of foreigners and to show us ways in which we can be kind to them.
Be kind to strangers.
I know this is a tough one.
The world as we know it continues to change every day and mostly for the worse.
Matthew 24: 12 (NIV) reminds us that, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love (dare I say, basic human kindness) of most will grow cold.”
Only right before Christmas, we had that awful newstory out of Baltimore, Maryland (USA) of a pastor’s wife whose life was cut short because she chose to be kind to someone she thought was a needy panhandler.
We must protect ourselves in these times in which we live, we say.
So does that mean that our love for our fellow man has grown cold as well?
Consider this. If not us, then who?
Rebekah had no idea that she would be the answer to a servant’s earnest prayer when she offered a stranger and his camels water, that day by the well so long ago. (Genesis 24:14)
On the other hand, the man who was attacked on the Jericho road probably thought he stood a good chance of getting help; after all numerous Christians frequented that route to Jerusalem. (Luke 10: 25-37)
Was he in for a sad surprise.
Twice, persons from the upper echelon of the church went out of their way to pass him by.
Are we like that?
Hopefully, we are more like the Samaritan who went above and beyond what the victim probably prayed for that day.
Am I saying that it will be easy? No.
When you watch those dollar bills in your wallet, already earmarked for something important, you will struggle to make that decision. (So sometimes, it does cost something.)
But ask yourself a couple of questions:
1. What if it were you?
What decision would you be praying for, if you were the one in need?
2. What would Jesus do?
His answer is clear in Luke 6:30, “Give to everyone who asks you for something…”
Friends, kindness comes easy for us when it is someone that we know, but I am challenging us in 2019 to step out of our comfort zones.
Hebrews 13:2 cautions us, “Do not forget to show hospitality [kindness] to strangers, for by doing so some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
So be kind!
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May God bless you!