By: Jamil McGhee – Columbus, OH
Have you ever considered how even a “small” act of kindness can change someone’s life? One act of kindness can literally be lifesaving.
Throughout my life, I’ve heard what some refer to as the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That quotation is actually from Luke 6:31.
“And just as you want men to do, you also do to them likewise.” Luke 6:31 NKJV
Having had opportunities over the past few weeks to interact with people in need, I’ve come to realize what a difference acts of kindness can make in a person’s life.
I wonder how often people in genuine need are either outright ignored or forgotten, which leads some to succumb to feelings of self-pity, loneliness or despair.
“I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me.” Psalm 142:4 NLT
Loving acts of kindness can change despair to hope and a fearful heart to one filled with faith. They can change sorrow to joy, pain to comfort, and anxiety-filled moments to “quiet seas.”
“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalms 94:19 NLT
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1 NKJV
One of the most often quoted and the greatest life-changing act of kindness, recorded in the written Word of God, is John 3:16.
God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. What an unselfish act of kindness that is still extended and exhibited to an undeserving world.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 NKJV
There are numerous acts of kindness mentioned in Scripture.
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done…” Titus 3:4-5 NIV
“God expressed His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus, and we all were treated much better than we deserved.” Ephesians 2:7-8 CEV
Romans 2:4 tells us that it is the kindness of God that leads a person to change. That truly is life-changing kindness.
1 Corinthians reminds us that love is patient and kind.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV
Kindness is also a fruit of the spirit. When a person acts out of genuine kindness, they too are blessed. It is so personally gratifying to extend a kindness to others in their time of need.
“Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.” Proverbs 11:17 NIV
In Luke 18:35-43 and Mark 10:46-52, we find the healing account of a blind man named Bartimaeus. He so desired healing that he ignored the naysayers and continually cried out to Jesus, “Deal kindly with me!” Jesus responded by healing him.
Kindness in ACTS-ion
In Acts 3:1-10, we find the record of the healing of the lame man at the temple by Peter and John.
In Acts 4, the healing of the lame man is referred to as an act of kindness. This healing act of kindness was so dramatic that even the lives of those who knew him or knew about him were affected in a powerful way.
“Then Peter, filled with the holy spirit, said to them: ‘Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: it is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.” Acts 4:8-10 NIV
In Acts 9:36-42, we read about Tabitha, known for her kindness, who was raised from the dead by Peter.
In Acts 28:1-10, Paul and his traveling companions literally received “a warm welcome” when they arrived on the island of Malta. It was a cold and rainy night when the inhabitants there built a fire to warm them and showed them extraordinary kindness.
The hospitality extended to them was so great that they remained there for three entire months. In verse 7, Publius, the governor of the island, invited Paul and his companions to stay at his home for three days—another act of kindness.
During his stay there, Paul prayed for Publius’ father who was sick in bed and healed him. Paul’s selfless and loving act of kindness (healing in this case) was so impactful that the rest of the sick on the island came to Paul. He healed them all as well.
When Paul and his companions were set to depart the island, the grateful residents furnished everything that they needed for their continued travels by sea.
In Galatians 4, we learn that Paul’s initial opportunity to share the Word of God with the Galatians, came about when an illness prevented him from traveling. Paul described the kindness of the Galatian believers as them treating him like an angel of God, or even Christ Jesus himself.
“You did not despise or reject me though my physical [illness] was a trial for you. On the contrary, you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus himself.” Galatians 4:14 HCSB
What an amazing description of the life-changing kindness he experienced. As a result, Paul was able to share the life-changing words of the Word of God with them.
May we in our daily lives remember to be kind, tenderhearted, and always forgiving, as Ephesians 4:32 tells us. May we let our light so shine that our kind deeds glorify our Father in heaven.
Photo by abdullah ahmad (the.final.shot)/Pixabay
No man can do a truer kindness in this world than to pray for me. – Charles Spurgeon
Jamil and Maria have a passion for outreach, and seeing people saved, whole, and delivered in all areas of their lives. They reside in Columbus, Ohio, and have three awesome young adult children.