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Scripture Reading: 1 John 4

Have you ever paid for a stranger’s coffee or groceries? Has anyone ever done that for you? You read these stories about the kindness of strangers on social media from time to time and wonder if they are true.

Just this morning I read a particularly interesting one on Facebook. A bookstore employee recounted how a “little old lady” insisted on paying for the $400+ of textbooks for the university student in line behind her. The employee described her as “lovable kooky” and when asked why she was doing what she was doing, the little old lady apparently replied, “It’s important to be kind. You can’t know all the times that you’ve hurt people in tiny, significant ways. It’s easy to be cruel without meaning to be. There’s nothing you can do about that. But you can choose to be kind. Be kind.”

It does not really matter whether this story is true or not. Its message fits perfectly with one of my most favorite passages in today’s chapter:

1 John 4: 7-8 (NIV)
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Showing kindness and love for others is what we are supposed to aspire to. It is what Jesus lived by as an example for us to emulate. You never know how a small gesture can alter someone else’s life in a profound way. I firmly believe that God gives us opportunities to be selfless and kind to others. We just need to keep our eyes open for them. It is up to us whether we take that opportunity to glorify God, or whether we choose to pass it up and let him down.

I have met selfish and vain people in my life, and I feel sad for them because they will never know the profound joy of doing something truly selfless for another. Something you do without any judgment or pity for the recipient’s “poor” life choices. Something you do without hoping deep down that you will be rewarded in some way, even if it is just by receiving positive attention. Actually, it feels best when the recipient does not even know that it was you who did it. You simply do it to help another child of God in a moment when you have the unique opportunity to do so.

Now that is something you should keep your eyes open for and it is an opportunity you should never pass up!

Has a stranger ever done something kind for you? Did it affect your life in a profound way? Have you recently had an opportunity to show someone else the kindness of a stranger? Did you seize the opportunity? If so, how did it make you feel? If not, why not?

Next Steps:
Make a plan of how you would react if you were placed in the unique position to show kindness to someone else through a selfless act. Think of three people you could possibly help in a unique and profound way. Decide on steps you could take to show God’s grace to them by moving from thinking about helping them to putting that thought into action.

Dear Father, thank you so much for providing me again and again with opportunities to help others in unique ways and to touch their lives. Please keep my eyes sharp, my ears tuned, and my heart open so that I may not miss an opportunity to show kindness and love to someone else. Thank you for the many, many times when othersfamily, friends, or strangersshowed me kindness in an unexpected way. Thank you for all the kindness and love you have showered me with on my journey! Amen.

This post was written by Cordula Mora. Cordula is a neuroscientist who currently works in the Provost office at Bowling Green State University. She was born and raised in Germany, then spent many years living in New Zealand before settling in the US almost 16 years ago. She was raised in a German Protestant church but feels blessed to have been spiritually awakened when she was introduced to CedarCreek Church. She thanks God every day for all the blessings in her life, including two amazing daughters. She is currently looking for someone who would like to serve the Lord with her.

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2 replies
  1. Julie Buehrle Estep
    Julie Buehrle Estep says:

    Cordula, thanks for the reminder to keep my eyes open for opportunities to be kind! Receiving a kindness is something I need to work on as well!

  2. Deborah Ferrel-Joseph
    Deborah Ferrel-Joseph says:

    I love the e everyday stories of how God wants to work through me to help others in need. I try to do all of the things that He wants me to do, in order to meet His daily needs, to help my family and friends the way that He wants me to.
    Thank you, Heavenly Father, for sending me your messages daily of the people who might need my help, but, mostly, I want to be a kind person to all of your children here on Earth.

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