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Kindness

Demonstrating a gentle, sympathetic attitude towards others.

Devotional Thought

Read Luke 10:25-37.

The parable of the Good Samaritan illustrates kindness to a high degree. While the religious elite ignored the beaten man on the side of the road, the Samaritan felt compassion. In those days, Samaritans were despised, lowly people. It would've been well within the rights of the Samaritan to simply reciprocate evil for evil, but instead he chose to be kind. After bandaging his wounds, he carried the beaten man to an inn where he could safely recover. He also personally paid the innkeeper and promised to return later in case more money was needed for the beaten man's care. This act of kindness is a model of unselfishness.

We live in a society where we are consumed with, "me, myself and I." We're so busy taking care of ourselves and our agendas that we miss out on daily opportunities to bless and encourage others through acts of kindness. The Good Samaritan's story is rare because he put the needs of someone else above his own. He saw a need, he reached out to help and he was honestly concerned. He did more than just think about doing something, he responded. Though we don't know the end of the story, we can assume that when the beaten man recovered he probably was more gentle and kind than before because of the care he received. Kindness is important to God because He sees every deed and hears every thought and word.

Kindness can take on many different forms. It may involve getting your hands dirty as you busily assist someone with a task. It may be quietly listening to someone who needs your ear. It might be volunteering your time or giving money to a needy organization. It could include writing a note to a family member or friend expressing your thanks and appreciation. Kindness includes good manners. It makes other people feel good about themselves, which often causes them to extend kindness and generosity they might not otherwise exhibit. There are even times that an act of kindness may be anonymous-that way God gets the credit. My good friend Don Hilkemeier used to say, "I'm going to do something nice for someone, and if they find out, it doesn't count." The key to kindness is getting your eyes off of yourself and putting them on others. It doesn't cost anything to be kind, but kindness can pay off in big ways.


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