I love Starbucks. I’m not really sure why. It cost far too much money and is far too many calories. It’s often too busy to find a seat and definitely never quiet. But you put a Starbucks coffee in my hands and I have a moment where if I could just freeze time... all is right in the world. (Of course as I’m writing this all I can think of is the self-control blog I just finished…. it’s now apparent that I have self-control issues when it comes to Starbucks). Moving on….
Starbucks has often made the news, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but one of the stories that is talked about often with Starbucks is their customer’s random acts of kindness. One person will get up to the window and pay for their drink and then cover the cost of the person’s drink in line behind them. It’s become quite the phenomenon at Starbucks with stores often keeping a count of how many cars they can get in a row that offer to pay for the vehicle behind them.
Starbucks isn’t the only one who has jumped on this random act of kindness bandwagon. Just google ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ or search #RandomActsOfKindness and you’ll find thousands if not millions of stories of people performing little acts of kindness for others.
It’s a great thing, right?
Kindness is a great thing. It’s something that is exemplified in and by our great God. Our God is a loving and good and kind God. Titus 3:4-5 tells us that it is when “the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us”. It is also something that should be seen in our lives once we have trusted in Jesus Christ as our Savior. In Galatians 5:22-23, we are told that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” The Holy Spirit working in our lives produces kindness.
It’s a great thing, right?
Kindness is a great thing. So, what’s the difference? Is there a difference? The random acts of kindness that we often see are great. They’re encouraging and make you smile, they brighten your day, and they give you some hope in humanity. If you serve Christ as your Savior though, you have an opportunity to impact people with kindness in a way that those who don’t know Christ can’t. You see, your kindness comes from a great God. Your kindness has the ability to reflect your Savior. There’s nothing random about it. While acts of kindness are always temporary, the effects of them can impact eternity. God’s kindness changes eternity for us. In Romans 2:4 Paul questions the people with this, “do you not realize that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” God showed His kindness to us in helping us turn away from our sin. When you believe in him, he asks you to show it too. In Ephesians 4:32 Paul commands Christians in Ephesus to “be kind to one another”. Later in Colossians 3:12 we are told to “Put on then, as God's chosen ones… compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience”. God wants us to show kindness to others, believers and unbelievers alike.
Today, I’d like to challenge you with that. Live a life of kindness. Take a minute to ask yourself these questions:
How does your kindness reflect your Savior? Do people realize that your kindness comes from your Savior or are you just considered a good person? Are you living a life of kindness or is your kindness just seen in random acts?
Live a life of purposeful kindness.
Not a life that includes random acts of kindness, but a life that reflects the kind God you serve.