894) Shocking With Kindness

By James Dobson in Nightlight: A Devotional for Couples, 2000, page 214:

     While standing in line at a grocery store checkout a few years ago, I noticed that the elderly woman in front of me had filled her cart with more food than she could pay for.  “I just don’t understand where my money is,” she said as she desperately searched the depths of her purse.

     I whispered to the checker, “Total her bill, then accept whatever money she has, and put the rest on my bill.”  I paid an extra eight dollars to make up the difference.  The old woman never knew I had helped her, but after she shuffled away, the checker had big tears in her eyes.

     “I’ve been doing this work for twenty years,” she said, “and I’ve never seen anyone do something like that before.”

     It was no big deal– an insignificant eight dollars– yet kind gestures are so rare today that many people find them shocking.  We are commissioned to demonstrate God’s compassion to our world, and we can make a tremendous impact through simple acts of kindness.

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A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.  –Joseph Joubert

When I was young, I admired clever people.  Now that I am old, I admire kind people.  –Abraham Joshua Heschel

Kindness is in our power even when fondness is not.  –Samuel Johnson

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.  –Aesop

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Ephesians 2:4-10  —  Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions— it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 4:31-32  —  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Matthew 7:12  —  (Jesus said), “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Galatians 5:22-23a  —  The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Colossians 3:12  —  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

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O Lord, your kindness changed us forever.  Your love broke into our lives most unexpectedly.  We give you thanks, and pray that you empower us to be kind.  Amen.

–James Dobson