I think I may be the one who needs this devotion the most! I really felt that God put it on my heart to do this months devotion but at the time I had NO idea what I was going to do. I kept looking through the Bible for something that caught my eye. Searching the net for ideas, looking through some books I had but I kept coming up with nothing. Finally I decided to just let it go and pray about it. Duh, right?! I put down in my prayer journal and kept praying that God would open my eyes to whatever it is He felt I should share.
A few days later I was walking into Wal Mart and ran into an old friend. This kind of running into was not a happy one. This friend and I had parted ways in a pretty ugly way. We made eye contact for a few seconds and went on about our business like we didn't even know each other. What I REALLY wanted to do was run over and give her a big hug and tell her how much I missed her and wish her a Merry Christmas. I didn't because I knew that while deep down I really do miss her and wish nothing but the best for her...I was wanting to do it just to make her mad. One of those kindness kills type of things.
The lord reminded me that I should just smile and walk on.So I did. I did some shopping and then began to aimlessly wander the store. I found myself in the book section. Not sure of what I wanted to look at I just kind of stood there. I'm sure some people thought I was lost or something. A few minutes later this elderly man tapped me on the shoulder. I slowly turned around, a little worried about what was going to happen next. He asked about my shirt. I was wearing the shirt from The Promise. He was asking all kinds of questions. If I went to church there, how much I liked it, if I grew up there and so on. Of course I told him I loved our church and went on to invite him to join us one Sunday. He said he would love to. Then we went on to talk about life. About my boys, about work, school, the economy and whatever else popped into the gentleman's mind.
We probably stood there for a good thirty minutes. When the conversation was over we gently shook hands and then he threw his arms around me and gave me the biggest bear hug ever. It was the sweetest thing. When he finally let go I could see that he had a tear or two in his eyes. He said he enjoyed our conversation and hoped that maybe we could meet up again. As he walked away he had the most amazing grin ever. It was kind of a thank you grin, a grin that said I touched him. One that expressed how happy he was to have had that conversation. I will ALWAYS remember that man and his grin.
After he walked away I just kind of stood there. Amazed, humbled and happy. It took me a minute to regain myself and wipe the tears from my eyes. Again with the stares from strangers thinking I'm some crazy goon just standing in the book section of the local Wal Mart! I finally reached for a book that caught my eye. It was a light brown leather Bible with a pink stripe on it. I picked it up and immediately began to cry. It was then that I knew exactly why that man and I met just moments ago. I flipped through the pages and the first verse that I stopped at was Col 3:12- So, as those who have been chosen of God, holey and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
I came home, wrote that down and prayed over this devotion. Then the Lord led me to Acts 9:36 which says, Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha: this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did.
When I read those two verses I knew exactly what I needed. I needed more kindness in my life. I needed to SHOW more kindness. After all, that's what the Lord wants from us. We can't be great Christians and now show kindness to others. When we do kind things it's a great testimony to who we are and what we believe. Through our kindness it shows others that people do care and more importantly, that God loves them. It seems that Tabitha was ALWAYS showing kindness to others. No matter what kind of mood she was in. I can't help but think that she never thought twice about doing them. It was part of her daily routine to fulfill God's command. We can bet that she would have never hung up on the sweet lady from Mothers Against Drunk Driving who called to share important facts just doing her job trying to earn money to feed her family. And I'm pretty sure we can assume she would have never yelled at the poor gal about time and children screaming and annoying phone calls, either. We all know that I did NOT show kindness to that woman and she probably thought I needed God in my life.
As Christians we have to be especially careful how we go about our daily lives. We have non-believers out there who are judging our every move. Show them one ugly side of you and they will think the worst. They will wonder what kind of Christian acts like that. Think back to the WWJD fad...he would be kind, to everyone, all the time.
Kindness isn't just about saying nice things or guarding your words. Matthew 10:42 says just that, And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward. The Lord WANTS us to do these random acts of kindness. He wants us to meet the needs of others. Grabbing that jar off the top shelf for the guy in the wheelchair, opening the door for a mom and her child, giving the waitress an nice tip, volunteering to sever soup at the shelter...anything! What we may think of as simple can mean the world to someone else.
Maya Angelou put it nicely when she said,I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
I challenge YOU to do one kind thing today and every day. It will soon become a great habit that just might rub off on others.
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