There are people in need all around us. While we can’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 show kindness by caring for others just like He did for us. 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 from 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 him 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.
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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 take care of the man. Remind your family that God, in His kindness, has given you time and resources. Ask your family, "How can we change our plans, spend our time, and use our resources to show kindness to others?"
As you are driving to school or another activity with your kid(s), 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. Some examples may be a lonely kid at school who may need a friend, someone who needs help understanding their homework, or someone who needs encouragement. At the end of the day, share stories of what happened and thank God for the opportunity to show kindness to others!
As you are putting your family to bed, review the memory verse (Ephesians 4:32) together. Remind one another how God showed kindness to us by sending His Son and talk about how keeping our thoughts fixed on Jesus helps us stay motivated to be kind to others. Pray together, thanking God for His kindness and ask for the strength to demonstrate His kindness to those around you.
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.”
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 will continue learning about kindness!