How would you describe “kindness” to someone? We can all probably name someone who we think is a great example of being kind to others. Whether it’s through their actions or words, these people care for others selflessly. And that’s what we’ll be talking about all month long in Elementary – Kindness: an action that shows you care. Let’s start with the ultimate example, God’s kindness, and how His kindness compels us to be kind to others.
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 Luke 7 Jesus was having dinner with several Pharisees when a woman with a bad reputation came in and started washing his feet. The Pharisees were quick to judge her by her sin, but Jesus looked on her with kindness. Yes, He knew her sins, but we see in verses 47 and 50 that her sins had been forgiven, not by anything she had done but because of His kindness. She was so overwhelmed with gratitude for the kindness she had received from God that she couldn’t help but show kindness in return. When we understand and accept the amazing kindness that God offers to us, we too can respond by caring for others.
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At dinner, read the story in Luke 7:36-50. After reading, discuss with your family how both people owed a debt they could not pay. However, they were both forgiven of their debt, meaning they did not have to pay it. Think through scenarios where your kids would have to owe you a lot of money they did not have. How would they feel if you cancelled the debt or paid it for them? Help them make the connection that we owe a debt to God for our sin (anything we think, say, or do that doesn’t please God) that we cannot pay, but that Jesus paid on our behalf.
While in the car this week talk with your family about our finish line, “Receiving God’s kindness helps us be kind to others.” Discuss the order of the finish line and why it’s important. Kindness is a gift from God and a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). We need to receive God’s kindness for ourselves first and then it overflows to others. When we understand God’s kindness to us, we better understand how much we’re loved, and it motivates us to be kind to others.
As you are putting your family to bed, spend time going over and memorizing the verse for the month. Ephesians 4:32 says, "Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." Then, pray and thank God for His kindness to you.
As you are preparing your family for the day tell them that they have a MISSION! Get them excited about this mission and rally them like they are secret agents with the most important mission EVER! The mission is KINDNESS. Tell them to find as many ways as they can to be kind throughout the day and tell them to be ready to share them in the evening. (Don’t forget to follow up that evening!)
Thank God for freely showing kindness to you and the gift of mercy and grace even when you didn’t deserve it. Ask Him to help you respond with kindness to those you are around in different situations this week.
Next week we will continue learning about kindness!