Try a little kindness in the new year
December 28, 2006
When putting my outdoor Christmas decorations up a few weeks ago, an elderly neighbor lady stopped in front of the house to say how beautiful they were.
“My husband used to put up Christmas lights but he passed away three years ago and I am not well enough to decorate these days. Oh, how I miss them,” she said.
The lady lived only three houses from me and early the next morning I knocked on her door and asked if I could put up a few decorations in her front yard. She broke into tears as she said, “Yes, I’d love it.” As I finished plugging them into the extension cord I brought, her daughter who lives with her, came outside to thank me. She too was in tears. She had been shut up in her bedroom for two days discouraged, depressed and stricken with those undefined Christmas blues. She said her mood had been completely turned around with these few decorations. A few days later I saw her in the supermarket. She greeted me with a smile as radiant as I have ever seen.
“You’ll never know what those decorations did for us,” she said.
I thought to myself, “This very small kindness I have been able to show has made my Christmas.”
I will never forget the joy on their faces.
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Showing a little kindness to someone at the right moment can make a big change in their lives – and ours also. We live in days where common kindness and decency are rare. Selfish and inconsiderate behavior and worse yet, malicious and intentional destruction have sadly become the normal experience of everyday life. My own church was vandalized on Christmas Day this week with rocks thrown through windows and glass scattered throughout the sanctuary.
Millions of people are starved for the small gesture of kindness. Since love and kindness is the major attribute of God, it should not surprise us that it is what God demands of His children. It also should not be a surprise that ultimate judgment, vengeance and punishment for evil doers is really God’s kindness to the good and righteous souls of the world who have suffered, been oppressed and persecuted by the dark and hateful hearts of this world.
Even the Lord Jesus Himself suffered at the hands of malicious and evil men. Religion alone does not necessarily result in kindness. False religions often produce quite the opposite. The reality and presence of Jesus in the heart always results in an uncommon kindness to others. It is not a gift that can be purchased, wrapped in ribbons and given at Christmas. It is a gift that must be consistently shown in our lives throughout the year by our words and action.
Gene Holman is pastor of Living Word Fellowship.