Nancy Taylor Tate
“And be ye kind one to another…” Ephesians 4:32
A recent act of kindness by my nephew’s boss brought much joy into our hearts during a very tough situation. Hit hard by Hurricane Ian, my nephew and his younger brother were alone and without electricity in their flooded home. Surrounded by water and unhealthy conditions, there seemed to be no way out.
Then his boss, aware of their situation, made the decision to travel for miles in his kayak so he could help them. Finally, he floated up the streets to their house and took them to a safer place, also helping others along the way.
Acts of kindness! What a difference he made in their lives that day! What joy he brought us when we heard! I am sure in years to come that we will remember not just a disaster, but the kindness my nephew’s boss showed when we remember Hurricane Ian.
How heartening it is to see all those who are reaching out to others during this time of great need. Disaster is always sad. Yet how nice to see the more virtuous side of people as they reach out to help, instead of all the bickering we see so much of in the news.
These are major acts of kindness during devastating times. But in everyday life, there are also many opportunities to show kindness to others. We can form the habit of being kind, and people will be blessed through our kindness. How we need more kindness in today’s world!
That kindness begins with you and me. As we show kindness to others, we can also pray for Christ to be made known through our lives. DeVern Fromke tells a story about sharing Christ through acts of kindness, which I will paraphrase: A young Bible school student was eager to preach. One day, while doing his internship with a local pastor, he finally heard the words he had been waiting for. Today, he was going to preach!
Excited, the young intern joyfully went with the pastor. Walking through the narrow streets of town, the pastor gave a coin to a poor man. He spoke a word of sympathy to a widow and dried the tears of a weeping child. Then they turned to go back to the church. Disappointed, the young student asked, “But, when are we going to preach?” The pastor answered, “We have been preaching all this time.”
The pastor then went on to explain that first and foremost, we are to give ourselves to the Lord. Then, whether we are speaking, doing a kind deed, or just giving a smile, it is His presence that touches hearts and changes lives.
Paul speaks of our lives being an “epistle … known and read of all men” (2 Corinthians 3:2). We are called to be “living epistles” written upon by the Spirit of the living God.
First, we are to abide in Him. We can then give of ourselves to others as living epistles, even as Christ gave Himself for us. We can become a sample of who Christ is, that others might see and know God’s love through our very lives.
We can believe for Christ to be revealed through our lives as we reach out to others, that all that we say or do be marked by His presence. Christ desires to touch hearts and bring eternal change into lives. What joy as we share Christ’s love with others!
There is a tangible love and peace that radiates from those who spend time in the presence of the Lord. It has nothing to do with eloquent words or even the greatness of kind deeds. Regardless of what they do or say, in their presence you feel ministered to and loved. You see and hear Jesus.
God’s desire is that we abide in Christ, so His life can be seen through us. Allowing who Christ is to find expression in the way we live will absolutely transform us. We will then be able to give our lives, whether it be in word or deed, so the ministry of the Holy Spirit can come forth to meet the needs of others.
Acts of kindness! The habit of being kind. Becoming kind! “And be ye kind one to another…” Ephesians 4:32. As we devote ourselves to spending time in the presence of the Lord, may the love of Jesus and the fragrance of His presence become resident in us, then made known to others through our lives in whatever we do, big or small.