It’s time to show a little kindness

Published 4:45 pm Friday, September 8, 2017

few weeks back Addyson helped me get a fall project started—we planted a late watermelon patch.  Her excitement was vibrantly obvious as she went out and carefully counted the number of seeds that I told her to put in each spot that I had prepared.  For a seven year old, near immediate results are probably expected, but she has waited patiently for our labor to pay off.  She was even more excited last week as she went out and saw that we have little watermelons on the vines, but she also knows that it will be awhile before they are ready.

Among the things that I hope I can instill in my grandchildren is the importance of being a help to others.  In reality, I could have planted those ten hills of watermelons quicker if I had done it myself, but that would have deprived Addy of time with Papa and an opportunity to learn a few lessons about life and about the value of lending a helping hand.

It has been encouraging over the past days seeing people helping people during the devastating storm on the coast.  The event was tragic, but being made aware of the good deeds of people pouring into the communities in need has been a refreshing change from so much focus on political bickering and other things that have dominated the news.  There is no doubt that the spotlight will soon be back on the same old arguments and disagreements, yet we can be thankful that compassion for those in need is still alive and well among some.

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Even as I write, there is much uncertainty about the path of another powerful hurricane swirling across the sea; loss of life and possessions has already resulted from the storm on some of the islands.  And at this moment there is a good possibility that its wrath could come quite close to our part of the world, perhaps even bringing catastrophic destruction to highly populated areas.  Once again there will be a great need to reach out and help those who suffer.  The lyrics of Glen Campbell’s song from 1970, Try A Little Kindness, are fitting for the events being faced today:  “Don’t walk around the down and out, lend a helping hand instead of doubt.  And the kindness that you show everyday will help someone along their way.”

The directive to help others in their times of need is certainly not absent from Scripture.  Included among the things that God instructed Moses to convey to the people was their responsibility to lend a helping hand to others:  “If you see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it.  Help him get it to its feet” (Deuteronomy 22:4, New International Version).  Even though that was Old Testament instruction given over three thousand years ago, our responsibility to help others remains in effect.  Helping others can be difficult, time consuming, messy, and sometimes even unappreciated, but we must not ignore needs that come to our attention.  While we understand that no one individual can meet every need, each of us can do something.  What God requires of us is that we simply remain faithful to Him in every task that He assigns us to.

In the New Testament, Christ reminds us that our good deeds must be done with right motives:  “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full” (Matthew 6:2).  Doing good for others from the heart is not for the purpose of being seen and acknowledged by people, but to bring honor to God and good to humankind. 

It’s always time to show a little kindness to others!