In the Bible, we often read stories about the miracles Jesus performed. In fact, there are 37 of them recorded in the New Testament.
Stories of Jesus turning water into wine, driving out evil spirits, and healing the afflicted. When reading these stories, sometimes we can get caught up in the act of the miracle itself. Like how Jesus actually walked on water, calmed raging seas, and multiplied a simple meal to feed 5,000 people. Don’t get me wrong. These miraculous acts do deserve our attention. But, don’t overlook the other lessons in these stories.
While each of these stories has its own specific lesson, they all showcase the kindness of Jesus.
Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” As Christians, God has called us to love one another as He loves us (John 13:34). Encourage your church to embrace this same kindness and share it with your community. And, what better time to remind your congregation of this calling than Random Acts of Kindness Day?
Random Acts of Kindness Day was founded in 1995 by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation as a day to spread warmth, cheer, and goodwill. Now twenty-five years later, it’s widely celebrated across the globe.
Encourage your church to participate in Random Acts of Kindness Day this year on February 17. To help, here are three passages you can share with your church to inspire kindness and some ideas on how to participate in Random Acts of Kindness Day.
Three Stories of Jesus Showing Kindness
Countless passages in the Bible let us see the kindness Jesus shared while He was on earth and, as Christians, we know about the kindness He continues to show us today. Here are just three of the many examples of the Lord’s kindness:
1. Jesus Shows Compassion to the Sick
In Luke 8:40-53, we see Jesus perform two incredible miracles.
A father pleads with Jesus to visit his young, dying daughter. Jesus agrees and on His way crowds form so large around him that the Bible says they “almost crushed Him.”
Despite the large crowd, a woman pushes her way forward until she is able to touch the edge of Jesus’s cloak. This woman had suffered from a bleeding disorder for over 12 years. Immediately after touching Jesus she was healed and immediately after feeling her touch Jesus stopped.
Jesus asked who touched Him. Afraid, the woman came forward, knowing she could not hide from Him. She explained the situation and Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
This woman would have been considered unclean to many because of her bleeding disorder. Not to mention, how bold her actions were based on societal and gender expectations of the time. But Jesus didn’t care. He stopped for her, calling her “daughter”- a term of endearment. He saw her struggle, desperation, and longing for healing.
Next in the scripture, a messenger delivers the news that the young girl Jesus was going to visit has died. Jesus goes to her house anyways. He raises her from the dead, telling her parents “she is not dead but asleep.” The parents laughed at Him, believing they knew the truth. But Jesus “took her by the hand and said, ‘My child, get up!’ Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up.”
Jesus shows kindness and gives his time to us all- stopping to call us sons and daughters
Jesus shows kindness and gives his time to us all- stopping to call us sons and daughters, stopping to inquire who is reaching out to touch Him, stopping to heal the hurting, stopping to help the sick. We should do the same. Make the effort to check in on others, stop to help a stranger, and offer your assistance to all those in need.
2. Jesus’s Kindness Goes Beyond Stereotypes
In Matthew 8:1-4, we see Jesus walking down a mountainside when a leper approaches Him. The man said, “‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ He said.”
To fully understand Jesus’ compassion in this scripture, we have to understand what life was like for those afflicted with leprosy in biblical times.
Lepers were often called “walking dead men”. This is essentially what they were. Without medicine to treat the condition, their bodies would decay while they were still living. A rotten smell followed them everywhere they went. Toes and fingers would turn black and fall off. Their faces would swell so much that they were often compared to the face of a lion with a wide mane. These individuals were literally untouchable to society. Living in colonies outside of the city, isolated, alone, and seemingly unwanted by their peers.
Lepers were outcasts in Jesus’ time, yet He still stopped to heal many suffering from the disease. Jesus looked past the man’s outward condition to see someone, scared, alone, crying out, and in desperate need of help.
Kindness isn’t reserved for those who look or sound a certain way.
Kindness isn’t reserved for those who look or sound a certain way. Kindness isn’t reserved for only those who come from a particular background. Kindness isn’t reserved for only those who are educated, give large amounts of money to the church, or live in a certain tax bracket. Kindness is for everyone.
Allow this scripture to inspire and encourage kindness to everyone who needs it, regardless of race, gender, age, wealth, education, health, or background.
3. Jesus’ Love Extends to All
In Luke 19:1-10, we find Jesus entering Jericho, the city where a wealthy, tax collector named Zaccheaus lived. Zaccheaus was a short man so he climbed a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus. When Jesus reached the spot where Zacchees was, “he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately I must stay at your house today.'” The passage goes on to say, “So he [Zaccheaus] came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people say this and began to mutter, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.'”
But Jesus did not care. His kindness is not limited by someone’s past. There’s nothing Zacchaeus could have done to make him ineligible to receive it. Jesus saw a man, flawed and rejected by many, but in need of love and compassion nonetheless.
Upon seeing Jesus’ kindness to him, Zacchaesus said, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” To which Jesus replied, “Today salvation has come to this house.”
Jesus didn’t care about the opinions of others or what people might say about him associating with Zaccheaus. Jesus cared only about the opinion of His Father and following His commandment to love one another.
Jesus cared only about the opinion of His Father and following His commandment to love one another.
Let this scripture remind you to look past the wrong’s people have committed. Love them anyways.
Now that we’ve talked about why to be kind, let’s talk about some ways to show kindness. Here are a few things you can do on Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17 to embrace a heart like Jesus and spread His love:
- Text someone, “good morning.” Let them know you’re thinking of them and praying they have a good day.
- Send an encouraging email to a colleague.
- Reply to a social media post with a positive or encouraging comment.
- Pick up someone’s tab. Maybe that’s the person behind you in the Starbucks line or the table next to you at lunch.
- Help a sick neighbor (offer to wheel out their trash or mow their lawn).
- Ask someone how they’re doing, genuinely.
- Reminisce with loved ones about fond memories.
- Have a judgment free day. Remember to be kind to yourself too.
- Donate used books to the library or gently used clothes to your local dream center.
- Encourage someone who seems down.
- Ask your cashier how their day is when you check out at the grocery store.
- Smile and wave to the people you pass throughout the day.
- Volunteer at an organization you feel passionate about.
- Donate to your favorite mission.
- Pass out resources (like meals, coats, or tents) to the homeless.
- Give compliments freely and often throughout the day.
- Make someone laugh.
- Reach out to someone going through a tough time.
- Pay for someone’s gas.
- Hold the door open for someone.
- Cook extra dinner and give it to a neighbor or friend.
- Tell someone how much you love them.
- Give the spotlight to other people. Shout out someone’s hard work or accomplishments.
- Actively listen to others.
- Leave an extravagantly good tip at a restaurant.
- Allow others to help you.
- Warm up your spouse’s car before they leave in the morning.
- Let someone go in front of you in line.
- Call a family member or friend you haven’t talked to in a while to chat up.