Kindness Compels Me…Us

Kindness Compels Me...Us

I remember as a child reading a book called “The Giving Tree.” A simple book about a boy and a tree which personified kindness.  The tree showed its love for the boy by sacrificial kindness. At each phase of the boy’s life, the tree gave him something that he asked for. Whatever the tree gave the boy, it sacrificed from itself. The more it gave, the more costly its gift. In the end, all that was left of the tree was a stump for the boy, who was then an old man, to sit upon. The tree loved the boy and showed it by its sacrifices. It was lovely and it was kind.

The more it gave, the more costly the gift.

Kindness stirs my emotions. When I see an act of kindness, there is something deep within me that wells up. It is like warmth. It makes me smile because acts of kindness are a reflection of God. Consider Matthew 7: 9-11 (ESV):

Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

How kind God has been to me…to us. In His kindness He has given us good gifts. Think about the everyday gifts He has given that blesses us: the sunrise, the aroma of coffee brewing, friends to laugh with, and what about the beauty of a bird singing outside your window? What wonderful gifts these are and there are much more that could be brought to mind.

The greatest act of God's kindness was a gift of sacrificial love.

The greatest act of God’s kindness was a gift of sacrificial love.

The Father sacrificed his own Son.

Like the giving tree, the Son sacrificed his own life.

When I remember this act of kindness, it compels me to act. This is the kindness that stirs every emotion within us. Yet unlike the giving tree, God’s act of kindness did not leave a stump but a glorious, resurrected life full of vitality!

God's act of kindness did not leave a stump but a glorious, resurrected life of vitality!

This act of kindness makes me want to be kind to others. It makes me want others to experience this act of kindness. This is why Matthew 7:12 follows the passage above with the “Golden Rule”:

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

I am learning that whenever I am kind to others, it shouldn’t be because it is a golden rule but a glorious reflection of God.

I am just wondering, how does this understanding of God’s kindness stir you to be kind to others?

Ryan Pic

Ryan Thomason works with Transform Student Ministries as the Marketing & Network Coordinator. He is married to a wonderful woman named Madison. He has voluntarily served Precept Ministries for close to 10 years before coming on staff full time. He has interned with their media department in 2008 and with the student ministry in 2009. He has lived in Guatemala to learn Spanish.

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