Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
This past weekend we witnessed some amazing people create a huge impact by making space for kindness. It was inspiring, encouraging and quite frankly blew me away! It also made a lasting impression and its memory will continue to bring both joy and an amazing relational connectedness, all because people made space for kindness. See, it was my amazing wife’s birthday this past weekend and a big one (nope, not going to share how old she is, for beauty holds no age) and being a guy who like parties, I was so looking forward to topping the last milestone surprise-dance-party-birthday. But she was clear this time, “No parties, just let’s do a family dinner.” Though I was bummed, it sparked my creative scheming, and our kids and I crafted a plan to do a kind of progressive ‘family’ dinner at a local mall. You know, appetizers at one location, salad at another, dinner at another, dessert, then coffee (Kristi loves coffee. Me, not so much, actually don’t like it at all!). So on this progressive dining adventure, to add that surprise element, I had written to a bunch of people, let them know where and when we would be and invited them to ‘pop by’ and wish Kristi a happy birthday. Now I know people are busy, there were the playoffs on TV, and this was a big ask, being the mall was a bit out of town, parking was expensive, and I literally wanted them to walk by, awkwardly find our family (though not hard as we have 6 little, very cute and rambunctious grandchildren), act surprised, make a cameo appearance, say something like, “Oh! How fun! We just happened to see you,” give a hug and leave! So I thought maybe one or two of her super adventurous friends would show, but over 30 people were able to make space in their schedule to show my precious wife a bit of kindness. Now, yes, others really did want to join in on the fun, yet had other commitments and such, but sent their well wishes. It all was such a blessing to Kristi and the rest of us (I don’t think the grandkids really noticed. I think they just felt their ‘Mormor’ was popular and knows everybody.). But we were all so deeply encouraged.
See, it does make an impression when we make space for kindness. God encourages us to step out and bless others with benevolent gestures, heartfelt words, sincere sympathy, good deeds, helpful assistance, purposeful care, loving affection, and chosen favor.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
1 Peter 4:8-9 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
To show hospitality is to be kind, and did you notice it was to be without complaining! Too much we focus on what we are receiving ourselves, or the blessings that come to us, and can complain about making space for kindness. Bemoaning kindness extracts the joy right out of the caring gesture. Yet a choice to make the sacrifice of self and create the space to be kind makes a lasting impression on others, and even ourselves.
Luke 6:38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
Making space for kindness is a great goal or resolution for this New Year.
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Romans 15:2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
So why not try this week. What could you do to make some space for kindness?
Church is a great place not only to practice kindness but also to learn more of how God has made space for kindness towards us. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net.