Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
The last four weeks we have been looking at the fruit of the Spirit. We have talked about the singular form used in scripture that shows these fruits are not separate but that they are one fruit and should all come together in our life. So far we have talked about love, joy, peace, and patience. If you have missed any of the devotionals so far you can go back in read them in the archives. I have also posted links to sermons preached over them.
Today we come to kindness. Too often I think we belittle what it means to really show someone kindness. We see someone hold a door open for someone, or maybe carry some groceries to someones car for them. We see people doing something like this and think they are really showing kindness. The problem is if you study the original greek word used in Galatians 5:22-23 we see a more powerful meaning. The original greek word means, to be useful, to furnish what is needed. Does holding the door for someone fit this definition, yes but I would say that is doing the bare minimum.
To really become people who live out the fruit of kindness Christians have to quit asking a question that is too often heard, “What is in it for me!” I am betting if you think hard you have heard that asked recently. Maybe you asked someone for help and they responded, “sure, but what is in it for me.” Our society has become so obsessed about what they can get out of something. As Christians we have got to start looking things in an upside down way. Instead of asking what’s in it for me it is time to say what can I do for someone else.
Acts 20:35 tells us that Jesus himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I wonder how our lives would be impacted and changed if we started living out that verse. What if we were always looking for ways to give to someone who is in need. What if our focus was on meeting the needs of those less fortunate? Honestly think about your attitude and approach to things. Are you looking out for yourself and always wondering what is in this for me, what do I get out of doing this. If it is your mindset I pray that you will spend time in prayer and ask God to help you change your focus by looking for ways to meet the needs that others have.
Our world puts so much on how successful a person is by their occupation, the kind of house or car they have, how big their net worth is. I sit here wondering what if success was defined by how many peoples lives you touched in a positive way. What if there was a ranking of the worlds 50 top kindest people instead of richest. Would you make the list? Would you make the top 50 in your own town? I love Matthew 5:16, In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Your kindness and how you treat people can be a powerful tool that points others to Christ. What’s in it for them?