There are people in need all around us. While we can’t and shouldn’t help every single person, God places specific people in our path that He wants us to care for. It’s not always easy and, if we’re honest, we sometimes try to make excuses to justify walking by. “I have a schedule to keep.” “I don’t have the finances/time/energy right now.” “I really can’t be inconvenienced right now.” We’re never more creative than when we try to justify our actions. God, however, calls us to love and show kindness just like He did. He cared for us so much that it cost Him His life. Our kindness to others in their need can be a reflection of His ultimate act of kindness to us.
MEMORY VERSE: “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." EPHESIANS 4:32 NLT
Jesus told a story about a man who was walking form Jerusalem to Jericho. The man was attacked, robbed, beaten and left for dead. Two different people who should have been examples of godliness saw him but passed by. Finally, a Samaritan saw the man’s needs and went out of his way to care for him. He sacrificed time, energy and money to show kindness to a stranger because of his need. There are people all around us in need and because of God’s great kindness to us, we, too can show kindness to people in need.
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Spend time at dinner this week reading the parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. After reading, emphasize to your family how the good Samaritan was inconvenienced when he showed kindness. Read again how he stopped his journey, spent time helping the man onto his donkey, and took him to an inn where he even spent his own money to have the man taken care of. Ask your family, "How can we change our plans, spend our time, and use our resources to show kindness to others?"
A tangible way to help your family understand kindness is to go to Walmart and make a “Bag O’ Kindness.” A Bag O’ Kindness is a bag full of helpful things that you can give to someone on the street or someone at a stop light who is asking for help. For example, things like: a tooth brush and tooth paste, socks, a towel, a blanket, a few granola bars and a small bible. The rest of the week be intentional with your family about finding a time to give away your “Bag O’ Kindness.”
As you are putting your family to bed discuss how showing kindness is often meeting others' needs. The hard part sometimes is knowing what their “need” is. Ask your family to tell you examples of different needs people may have. You can give them some examples like a lonely kid at school might need a friend, someone who needs help with their homework, or someone who needs encouragement. Get your kids excited about looking for and discovering others' “needs” so they can in turn show people kindness.
As you are preparing your family for the day, create some excitement about being a “needs” detective! Tell them that today everyone is going to do the very best job they can at discovering what others need and then showing kindness by meeting that need. Be ready to tell stories at the end of the day.
Thank God for those who have been kind to you in your times of need. Ask Him to help you see those in need around you and the ways He has equipped you to meet those needs.
Next week we are continuing the month of February with KINDNESS. We will be learning that because of God's kindness to us, we can show kindness to people who don't deserve it.
Subscribe here to start getting our monthly email to stay in the know with everything going on with Watermark Kids!
Image via Flickr Creative Commons