It’s really easy to show kindness to people who are nice to us. However, not everyone is easy to be kind to. In fact, there may be some people in your life that it seems impossible to show kindness to. Unfortunately, God doesn’t tell us we can just choose to be kind to people who deserve it. None of us can do anything to deserve the kindness God shows us, no matter how “good” we try to act. We all fall short. Thankfully God chooses to care for us anyway and calls us to do the same.
MEMORY VERSE: “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." EPHESIANS 4:32 NLT
In order to illustrate God’s love for everyone, Jesus told a story about a man with two sons. The younger son demanded his inheritance, left home and squandered everything in wild living. His older son stayed home and worked hard for his father. The younger son finally realized his need and returned to the father in humility. The father didn’t worry about all of the bad things the son had done. He just welcomed him home. The older son, however, thought he was better than his brother because of all his hard work. He couldn’t see that their father’s kindness wasn’t determined by what either one had done but just because he was their father. Whether we’re like the older or younger son, we’ve done nothing to deserve God’s kindness. He simply shows it to us because He is God and He loves us. (Luke 15:11-32)
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Find an opportunity this week to show your family undeserved kindness. Capitalize on this time to show undeserved kindness by explaining how God has done the same for us. Then, explain that since we have received God’s underserved kindness we can do the same for others, which ultimately points them to God. Example: When I was 7 I had done something bad enough that I knew I deserved a spanking. When I got to my parents bed room my dad bent me over the bed and then spanked his own leg three times. Afterwards, he shared with me how God had done the same thing except for in a much bigger way by sending Jesus to die on the cross.
While in the car this week ask your family who they find it the hardest to be kind to. Talk about why it is hard to show kindness to those people. Discuss how it is harder to show kindness to people who aren’t kind to us, but when we choose to be kind to them it really reflects Jesus' kindness. Explain how awesome the opportunity is for us to reveal Jesus' kindness to people!
As you are putting your family to bed, practice the memory verse for the month. “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” EPHESIANS 4:32 NLT. Ask your family what this verse means and give examples of how they can begin to apply this verse to their lives.
As you are getting your family ready for the week ask everyone to remember a time that someone showed them kindness. Ask how it made them feel. Then encourage them to find ways to be kind to others during the day so they can experience what it is like to be shown kindness.
Thank God for showing you kindness when you didn’t deserve it and couldn’t earn it on your own. Ask Him to help you respond in a kind way to those in your life who are the most difficult to love.
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 others by forgiving them.
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