This week is nationally recognized as Random Acts of Kindness Week.
Those who regularly celebrate might throw a couple extra bucks at the coffee drive-through attendant and return their neighbor’s cart to the parking lot corral. They’ll offer to help a sweet, elderly woman load her groceries or leave a few dollar bills taped to the office vending machine.
But is that the Biblical way of showing kindness?
I think we can all agree kindness should affect our lifestyles. As Christians, we should be exhibiting kind actions to everyone we meet, every day. Because we have been saved by grace, we need to be regularly ready to extend grace to others.
The book of Colossians even tells us to put on kindness in the same way we might put on our favorite hoodie or a pair of socks. We need to clothe ourselves in this virtue which sets us apart from those who don’t believe in Christ. Our demeanor and personalities should be wrapped up in kindness.
But should we really celebrate a week of random kindness? Is buying a grande latte for someone we don’t know really what our Savior had in mind?
Kindness should be extended. No one is disputing that. A tired mom could have her day turned around just by the stranger who offers to take her shopping cart to the corral. Coffee certainly has the possibility of warming someone’ soul, and not just their body.
But what about the verse where Jesus specifically talks about loving those around us?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven… For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” — Matthew 5:43-46
Even the sinners, the outcasts of society, love those who love them. As a middle-class coffee-lover, it’s not so hard to be kind to the other middle-class Starbucks patrons.
But what about the marginalized? Those who have been cast away by society?
- The homeless man on the street corner
- The drug-addicted family member
- The teen mom in your daughter’s school
- The Muslim family you always see at the store
- The special needs employee who takes too long bagging your groceries
- The lesbian co-worker who sits just down the hall at work
Who is showing them kindness? Are you?
What about the people who have different political views than yours? Or those who have different beliefs or different moral standards? You see them all the time on Facebook, spouting off their views. Maybe they’re fighting hard for the exact same things you’re trying to prevent.
Are you kind to them too?
Maybe our acts of kindness shouldn’t be as random as the week-long holiday might suggest.
What if we were to choose the recipient of our kindness, but narrow in on our enemies and those who are despised? Jesus commands you and I both to love our enemies, are we doing that?
Will you celebrate Random Acts of Kindness week by loving your enemies and being kind to everyone? And what about the week following? Who will be the recipient of your daily kindness?
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