Kindness Is A Choice — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Kindness Is A Choice — Morning Devotions

A single random act of kindness that you otherwise wouldn't think much about can potentially change someone's life. Often it's the small things that matter.

By Chris WittsThursday 1 Sep 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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In Vancouver, Canada. A social experiment was held one morning when people walking down a busy street were stopped randomly and given an envelope, and inside was either $5 or $20 and they were asked to take part in an experiment.

Most agreed to this. They had to make a choice about this cash gift. Half of it could be spent on themselves, and the other half of this group had to spend it on somebody else or donate it to charity. They had to make their choice by five o’clock that day. So that night, the researchers spoke to the group about how they got on. They had to rate their mood. How they felt about this experiment, whether they had $5 or $20 made no difference, nor what they bought. But what mattered most was who they spent their money on. The people who had spent it on someone else felt significantly happier than those who treated themselves. This is just one of the many studies that found that acting kindly can improve your well being.

It’s been scientifically proven to make a difference to how we feel. Is the most common act of kindness picking up something a stranger has dropped, giving money to a charity, paying someone a compliment, maybe doing something else? And who do we tend to be kind to?

Let me tell you about an 11 year old American boy. His name is Orion Gene. He lives in Texas, and he was voted the Time magazine’s 2021 Kid of the Year, a remarkable youngster who’s won the hearts of many Americans. He’s got this motto for life, and the motto is, if you see a problem, fix it. He sees himself as an ambassador for kindness. Amazingly, for their thanksgiving in 2020 he organised the donation and delivery of 100,000 meals for families across the US and arranged for 500,000 books to be distributed to other Children. Now, of course, he had a lot of help from adults who wanted to support this work of kindness.

They gave their money and they got involved, but it was Orion’s vision that started it all. A vision to act with kindness.

The actions of kindness

It was Mother Teresa who once said, “let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, and smile the warmth of your greeting”. Don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well. According to Mark Twain, kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see. And I think he’s trying to tell us that kindness is universal. It can cross over boundaries, race and even disabilities. But does this really define kindness? Well, yes, in a way, it’s one facet of being kind.

Being kind shouldn’t just be reserved only for others. You’ve got to be kind to yourself because, like everyone else, you deserve kindness to treat yourself as you would anyone else. Avoid always criticizing or putting yourself down, offer yourself kind words. Steer clear of people who are stressing you out and stick with those that inspire you. After all, you can’t give what you don’t have.

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The same is true with kindness. You can’t be truly kind to others if you can’t even be kind to yourself. Being kind can actually change the world. They say that respect begets respect. The same is true with kindness. A simple, random act of kindness can inspire others to pay it forward. It triggers this chain reaction of people being kind to others. It creates ripples, which can grow to become great waves. And before you know it, like Orion Jean, you’ve started a kindness movement.

It starts in your community, then in your own country and then the world. It’s amazing. A single random act that you didn’t think much about can potentially change the world. And I like what the Bible says about kindness. Proverbs 21:21 says whoever pursues justice and treats others with kindness discovers true life marked by integrity and respect. It’s not only being nice towards another person, it’s showing respect and goodwill, saying your needs matter more than my own. It’s kindness of heart, kindness of action. And the Bible tells me in 1 John 3:18, let us stop saying we love each other. Let’s really show it by our actions. Can you try and commit to one act of kindness today, knowing that you’re pleasing God as you do so.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly father, it can be such a simple and yet a profound act – the act of being kind. May that spur me on today to a single act of kindness. Because that’s what you want from us. Amen.