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 you just don’t think deserve kindness. Unfortunately, God doesn’t tell us we can just choose to be kind only 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 He 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)
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
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. 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 did 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, it really reflects Jesus' kindness. Explain how awesome the opportunity is for us to reveal Jesus' kindness to people!
As you are putting your kids to bed, ask them to remember a time that someone showed them kindness. Ask how it made them feel. Pray together and thank God for those acts of kindness. Afterwards, encourage your kids to find ways to be kind to others so they can experience what it is like to be shown kindness, too.
Our older elementary kids received a page with the alphabet on it in their classrooms this week and were encouraged to write down a kind word or action they could show others (i.e. T – Say “Thank you” or H – “Help with chores”). Review their Kindness Alphabet or create one together. Then encourage them to find ways to complete some of those ideas this week.
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 will continue learning about kindness!
Image via [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/photos/7fgsUxmiOQ)_