Topic: Random Acts of Kindness [January 10, 2017]
Read: Ruth 2:8–13, Bible in a Year: Genesis 25–26; Matthew 8:1–17
“Why have I found such favor [grace] in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?” Ruth 2:10
Some say that the American writer Anne Herbert scribbled the phrase “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” on a placemat at a restaurant in 1982. The sentiment has since been popularized through film and literature and has become a part of our vocabulary.
The question is “Why?” Why should we show kindness? For those who follow Jesus, the answer is clear: To show the tender mercy and kindness of God.
There’s an Old Testament example of that principle in the story of Ruth, the emigrant from Moab. She was a foreigner, living in a strange land whose language and culture she did not understand. Furthermore, she was desperately poor, utterly dependent on the charity of a people who took little notice of her.
There was one Israelite, however, who showed Ruth grace and spoke to her heart (Ruth 2:13). He allowed her to glean in his fields, but more than simple charity, he showed her by his compassion the tender mercy of God, the One under whose wings she could take refuge. She became Boaz’s bride, part of the family of God, and one in a line of ancestors that led to Jesus, who brought salvation to the world (see Matt. 1:1–16).
We never know what one act of kindness, done in Jesus’s name, will do.
Prayer: Lord, what do You want me to do for another today? Lead me. And may that person see a glimmer of You.
It’s never too soon to be kind.
The command to be kind to others is embedded in the Law that God gave to the Jews fresh out of Egypt. God told them, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord” (Lev. 19:18). Today, Christ-followers are to “be kind and compassionate to one another” (Eph. 4:32). And the reasons we are to show kindness have not changed: It is because of who God is and what He has done for us. We are to “follow God’s example, . . . and walk in the way of love” (5:1–2).
This message was written by David Roper [Our Daily Bread Ministries.]