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Have You Been Kind Lately?

Apr 25, 2008
February 17 is national Random Acts of Kindness Day. How cool is that? This is a day set aside to think outside of yourself and do something nice for someone, without expecting anything in return. Of course, the world would be a better place if people practiced this principle every day. Hopefully this special day will motivate you to seek out opportunities to be a blessing. Because, after all, kindness is one of the fruits of the Spirit and is also one of the best (and easiest) ways to demonstrate the love of Christ.

Here are five great ideas to get you started:

1. The Drive-Thru Difference - Recently, a local radio station in my area has been promoting this campaign. The idea is that when you pull up to the drive-thru window to pay for your order, you also pay for people in the car behind you. It may be a buck for a cup of coffee or twenty dollars for a family of six. Can you imagine their surprise when they pull up to the window only to be told their bill has been paid? You'll certainly make their day!

2. Visit a Nursing Home - My brother and sister-in-law are teaching their three young girls about thinking outside of themselves by stopping by a nursing home once a month, just to visit. When they started this practice, they didn't know any of the residents, but they sure do now! Sadly, there are many elderly people who don't receive regular visitors. Ask one of the nurses which patients may be lonely and focus on them. You don't have to stay long. An hour of your time will do wonders to put a smile on the faces of the residents. Soon, you'll look forward to these visits as much as they do!

3. School Extras - those who have school-aged children probably get notes home from time to time asking for field trip money or other school-related expenses. Why not add enough to your envelope to cover another student or two whose family may not be able to afford these extra costs? Maybe you know of a particular child. Otherwise, you can write "plus one" on your envelope to make sure the teacher understands where the money is to go.

4. Gift Cards - Do you know a single mom or someone who may be struggling? Maybe there's an illness in the family or a particularly difficult situation they're dealing with. The next time you go out for pizza, why not pick up a gift card and give it (either anonymously or not) to that family. What a blessing that would be on days when cooking is impossible or the last thing they feel like doing.

5. Extra Labor - Mowing your lawn, raking your yard or snow-blowing your driveway is a lot of work! All the more reason to go the extra mile for someone less able to get outside and do it. Even if your neighbor is healthy as a horse, still, what a fun surprise to come home and find your driveway cleared of snow or your lawn nicely trimmed.

Come up with a few of your own ideas to demonstrate a random act of kindness. Better yet, choose a couple to perform each month. Show your neighbors, classmates and strangers just what the love of Jesus looks like.

"Make sure you don't take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship--a different kind of "sacrifice"--that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets." - Hebrews 13:16 (MSG)
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