Monday, January 15, 2007

ACTS OF KINDNESS


(Here is a good article written by a worthy woman: my wife)
Kindness, like love, is only known when it is shown through actions. it is an attribute every Christian should possess. We are told in Colossians 3:12 to "put on a heart" of kindness. Ephesians 4:32 reminds us to be kind to one another. And in 2 Timothy 2:24, Paul tells us to be kind to all.

Have you ever been uplifted by the kindness of someone? I can think of many times that I have, but I will only mention a few. When we moved to Minnesota fourteen years ago, I was pregnant with our fifth child. After her birth I received a "shower in the mail" from the ladies' class in a church that helped support us. I still remember how good it felt to be thought of in that way. Another time was when our three youngest children were 2 months, 2 years, and 3 and a half years old. I struggled on Sunday mornings trying to listen to my husbands' sermon while taking care of my little ones. A very kind lady in the congregation offered to have one of our children sit with her. From that point on our 3-year-old Heidi knew she would be sitting with Donna. Though I have told her many times, I don't think she will ever know how helpful she was to me. There was a time when we returned from a trip after a sweet friend and sister in Christ had been taking care of our animals. She secretly put a cushy mattress on our bed believing it would help relieve my backaches. She was right, I knew something was different the first night I slept on it. Recently, ladies from a congregation that supports us got together to honor missionary women and wives. I was humbled to be one of them. They sent me a very nice commendation with Romans 16:1,2 written on it along with a money order. Their kindness made my day because it reminded me that there are people that care for and pray for me. That act inspired me to write this article.

We need to be busy doing acts of kindness for others. While it will require sacrifice, the blessings we receive will far outweigh anything we give up. It can be as simple as a kind word, a phone call or a note of encouragement. I know a man that wrote a letter every week to a soldier that had been sent to Iraq. That soldier was gone for over a year. He mentioned how encouraged he was to receive those letters. Be creative, fix a gift bag filled with a magazine and pampering items for a new mom. Bring flowers to a neighbor, offer to baby-sit for someone who needs a break, help someone with their housework, make a meal, plan a shower, bake cookies and give half away, always greet visitors, always tell parents when you catch their children behaving. This list could go on and on but the point will be the same: if you think of something kind to do for someone, act on it. Chances are no one else will think of it and an opportunity to do good will be lost. Nehemiah 9:17 reminds us that God abounds in loving kindness. And we want to be like Him.

I do not want it to go unsaid that the kindest thing we can do for the lost is to become a friend and seek to teach the Gospel to them. Titus 3:4-8 reminds us that we are saved because of the kindness of God. We should strive to be like the worthy woman in Proverbs 31:26: "she opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."

- Hazel
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