I remember one cold, icy morning when I was getting out of my vehicle for work. I noticed a young man in his twenties was getting out of his vehicle too. He was tall and slender, wearing denim and cowboy boots. He was shutting his door as I walked by, and that’s when I noticed something odd about the way he moved.
His boots were sliding, and both his feet were moving in a circular motion. Apparently he had parked on some black ice. When I realized this guy was in trouble, I knew I had to act. So I went up to him, a couple feet in front of him. Not sure exactly what to do, I started moving my arms in a circular motion. And aware of the peril of the situation, I started screaming. (I’m something of a screamer.)
This went on for about 20 seconds. He was doing what looked like some sort of weird cowboy tap dance. It was like Blake Shelton meets Bambi. And I was moving my arms in circles and screaming. Finally, after about 20 seconds, he regained his composure, straightened up, and simply walked off without a word.
Have you ever wanted to show kindness to someone, but you weren’t sure how to without making it awkward? It’s not hard to love the idea of showing kindness. But sometimes it’s hard to figure out the “how.”
When it comes to showing kindness, Ephesians 4:32 gives us a very practical idea for fueling the how. Here’s what it says: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
The pattern of Ephesians 4:32 is simply this: you give to others what God has given you. Be kind to others because of the kindness God has shown you. Forgive others because God has forgiven you.
Here’s the question that Ephesians 4:32 provides in order to fuel the how: What is something God has given you which you can pass on to someone else?
People all around us are hurting. There’s a girl I know who has been mercilessly teased since she was a young child, made to feel like she was nothing by her peers. The adults have confirmed this notion by mistreating her in the worst of ways. With messy hair and dirty clothes, she wanders the school halls without making eye contact.
What has God given us which we can pass onto the mistreated girl? He has given us compassion, friendship, and hope. These are things we can pass onto her.
There’s an old man who lost his wife after 50 years of marriage. He wakes up every morning and walks into the kitchen still half expecting her to be standing at the counter finishing breakfast.
What has God given us which we can pass onto the widower? God has given us comfort and companionship, something we can help pass onto him.
There’s the recent divorcee who finds herself deeply bruised by betrayal and fearful of the future. How will she support her children? How will she move on?
What has God given us that we can pass onto her? God has given us provision, peace, and healing, which we can pass onto her.
We give out of the overflow of what God has given us.
- In our lowest moments, He has given us mercy.
- In our loneliness, He has given us His presence.
- In our grief, He has given us comfort.
- In our hurt, He has given us healing.
- In our physical need, He has given us provision.
When we think through all God has given us, we discover a fuel for kindness which never runs out.
So, are you ready to show kindness in a practical way to someone today? Start by asking, “What has God given me which I can pass along?”