Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Intentional Actions of Kindness
By Micky Wolf
Random acts of encouragement and assistance are wonderful. Lord knows, our world could use more of them.
And then there are the other kind—intentional acts of kindness. They seem to fall into an entirely different category. These folks who serve in this choose to take a specific action.
Several days ago, a friend called to share that someone both of us know had made the prayerful decision to her help with a difficult situation. Their generosity is not a surprise. This isn’t the first, nor will it be the last of their intentional acts of kindness.
So, what’s the big deal? Lots of people offer a helping hand, right? Yes. On the other hand, most of us don’t necessarily respond in a purposeful manner—sooner rather later—when presented with an opportunity to give of our time, talent or resources.
Whether random or intentional, it is important to remember why God invites us to give to others, and do so with a glad and generous heart.
Using the gifts and talents He has given you…
The aforementioned ‘giver’ has the time and financial resources to be generous—which is not to say every kind act involves money or a lengthy time commitment. What it does say is this person recognizes their personal wealth, as well as the wherewithal to pick up and go at a moment’s notice, are gifts from God which He hopes they will use to bless others. And that is exactly what is happening.
What is your gift? Talent? Are you holding back, waiting for the right moment to act? Are you fearful of what might happen if you extend yourself? Sure applies to me on occasion.
These questions usually don’t deter people (at least for very long) who want to be obedient to the Spirit and be other-centered. They trust God to work through them—by unpacking and sharing the “kindnesses” contained within their hearts.
It’s all about Love…
I didn’t hear about the intentional kindness from the person responsible. In fact, from what I know about them, they would be the last to speak of their actions. They would also be the first to say they don’t live perfect Christ-centered lives. Nonetheless, it is clear the way they live is to pray, ask God for direction, and then discern the action He calls them to carry out. They move and leave the rest to Him.
It seems too easy to put Love in a box, one that is mostly comfortable for us, one that doesn’t interfere too much with what we have planned for the day, the people we want to be with, or the places we want to go.
We hear it said our hands and feet are the only ones God has. Yours. Mine. If we truly desire that Love order our steps, how eager are we to say yes?
Playing it safe…
Watching the evening news or reading the headlines on the Internet with regard to what is happening around the world—sometimes in our own backyards—can overwhelm our thoughts and senses. And more often than we’d like to admit, discourage or scare the heck out of us.
There is no doubt of the need for many acts of kindness. So then, why is that if we recognize the gifts God has given us and our desire to be kind and loving of others, that we are prone to shrug-0ff (at best) or deny (at worse) Divine-designed opportunities to authentically be Christ to one another?
It’s not a secret. We are afraid. Afraid of being taken advantage of. Afraid of giving too much of our resources (money or time) and not have enough for ourselves or our families. Afraid of commitment. Afraid it will be messy. Afraid we won’t do it right.
And all of that is Truth.
That’s why every act of kindness we say yes to will be one of the clearest indications we ever have that we are in the will of God—if for no other reason than we are cooperating with His grace to be His instruments, His vessels, the broken-wounded human beings through which HE can work HIS miracles of love.
Whether random or intentional, thanks be to God for those who would rather not always play it safe when it comes to being kind and making a positive difference in the life of another human being.