“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:14-15
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Mother Teresa
- It’s time to meet with your beautiful Savior who loves you more than you could ever know or comprehend this side of heaven! He is the One who “tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11). Take a moment to give Him all of your concerns about your children; thank Him for gently leading you with your little ones.
- Grab your Bible, journal, pen and something delicious to drink and read John 13: 1-17 and Ruth 2:11-13. Write John 13:14-15 in your journal.
Jesus and Ruth: Kindness in Action
What does the Bible say about kindness? I have two personal favorites that illustrate the concept of kindness beautifully:
The first and the best example is always Jesus. I love how He lived what He taught. John 13:14-15 is a wonderful example of Jesus’s heart of kindness:
“I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet. So you also should wash one another’s feet. I have given you an example. You should do as I have done for you.”
In this passage, Jesus showed His love to His disciples by washing each of their dirty, dusty feet – all 12 men, which adds up to 120 toes!
This includes Peter and Judas. Jesus knew the end of the story. He knew Peter would deny him and Judas would betray him.
Jesus still chose to perform an intimate act of kindness for these two men. He lovingly put their needs above his own by washing their very dirty feet.
We are called to be kind to one another in this exact way. Jesus wants us to do for others as He has done. He calls us to put the needs of others first. We are to be loving, compassionate, gentle, sacrificing, and friendly – and not just for those who are kind to us. We are even called to love our enemies and pray for them (Matthew 5:44).
This includes the people in your life who criticize you, gossip about you and act generally unkind. We don’t have to be best friends with them, but we are called to love them and pray for them.
Another inspiring example of kindness is Ruth. If you have time, read the entire book. It’s short. Ruth was a widow who moved to a foreign land to live among her Mother-in-Law’s people. Time after time, Ruth chose to listen to Naomi, treating her with kindness and respect while providing food.
Since Ruth was a widow, she could have chosen bitterness and sadness. Instead, she worked hard in the fields and gained a reputation among the locals of one who was kind. Because Ruth chose to be kind to Naomi, Boaz chose to be kind to Ruth. Ruth was blessed with a Kinsman Redeemer and a husband to love and provide for her. Ruth 3:10 gives us insight into Ruth’s reputation of kindness.
“And he (Boaz) said, “May you be blessed by the LORD, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.” Let’s all look to Ruth for an example of rising above our circumstances and choosing kindness first.
When it comes to raising my own two daughters, I want to raise women who love God, and out of that love is a river of kindness that exudes from their being. It’s a tall order. I know. I feel like I fail every day.
I struggle with being kind in the thick of parenting – when the sixth huge mess has been made that day, or when Astrid pulls Ruby’s hair. Again. I know that my actions in these key moments are crucial, but let’s face it, sometimes I snap. I yell at my girls. I am not kind. I pray and seek guidance every single day.
There are some days that feel like a constant prayer, but let me tell you something. I am kinder than I was a year ago. Choosing to walk with Jesus during my struggles has given me ample opportunity to become a nicer mom. I am grateful I am trusting God right now.
It comes down to making a choice. Will we choose to treat people with kindness like Jesus? Will we have a reputation of kindness like Ruth? I know the choice to be kind sometimes is not the easiest or the most effective, but the impact you will make on those around you is worth it.
Questions to Ponder
- Pray and ask God to help you to love and forgive the people in your life who have hurt you. Then pray this prayer from the Steps to Freedom in Christ by Neil Anderson aloud:
Lord Jesus, I choose to forgive (name the person) for (What he or she did or failed to do) because it made me feel (share the painful feelings; i.e. rejected, dirty, worthless, inferior, etc).
- Perform 1 Random Act of Kindness (RAOK) this week. Buy a stranger coffee. Write a note to your pastor. Take a meal to a sick or elderly neighbor. Help your child invite a new friend over to play. Get your kids involved in your action. Kindness begets kindness. When we show kindness, it allows the power of God to shine in people’s lives. Be a great example for your little people.
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