The Kindness of Strangers

Image by lauraelatimer0 from Pixabay

It is found in the driver that lifts their foot a little off the accelerator that you may pass safely into the lane of traffic. It is found in the one who would still dare to hold the door open, just because. It can be found in the one who will return your grocery cart for you, gives you a kind word, helps you in myriad different ways, or just send a smile in your direction when you least expect it.

The kindness of strangers . . . I don’t think we pay attention to how often and how many ways each of us gets to experience this blessing from heaven.

The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5) has long been a topic of study among believers, and with good reason. It best helps us to display the same characteristics that Christ displayed in our own lives. He taught and also lived out what true kindness was all about. He not only spoke about it through His words, but He lived a life of compassion toward people (Matthew 9:36-38). And as such, calls us to do the same.

Some of the noted characteristics of this fruit is found in the words gentleness and goodness. These words teach us to be kind to one another (something we have learned in our elementary years but has seemed to pass from our understanding as we grow in life).  And they teach us to respond to others with the best of all that is in us with a generous and right spirit, even when others may not deserve it.

Today, you will most likely encounter many strangers along your path. Why not be the one that shows a certain measure of kindness, just because. Love them like you know them.

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering” Colossians 3:12

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Let God’s Grace Work

Let God’s grace work in the lives of others as He has once worked in your life.

Once, we were without understanding in many areas of life, including the spiritual aspects of life.

There was a time when we didn’t see things as we do now.  Growth will do that for you.  Over time, seeds of change are planted in your life and with the proper soil conditions, they grow and flourish, teaching you, revealing to you, and molding you and me into a better you and me.

How quickly are we to point the finger, verbally or silently, at those who are still struggling to understand?  The place of judging others does not belong to us (Romans 14:4; James 4:12).

We must have patience with our fellow man and remember where we once were and His grace that brought us to this day.  Pray for others as they are still trying to find their footing in this life.

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:11-13

Did you catch that first phrase of that last verse?  But now…

Remember, we didn’t bring ourselves salvation.  Remember, we weren’t always what we are today.  Remember, it was Christ’s blood that saved us.  His grace did the work that we couldn’t do or didn’t deserve.

Let us show the same grace to others today as God is working on them too.

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The Golden Rule

“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Luke 6:31

This is the Golden Rule, as we call it today.  God’s people are to know how to treat people in any circumstance, whether the times are favorable or if they find themselves in times of adversity.  God’s people are to respond to situations and people in the same manner as Jesus did.

Philippians 2:5 tells us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”  The way we view things, people, and situations are to be filtered through thinking about how Jesus Himself would respond.  How did He handle the adversities He faced?  What was His attitude like toward those who mocked Him and so forth?  All in all, if we were to take inventory and compare our responses to that of Jesus, would they match up or even come close?

In order to be identified as a  Christian, after all, it means that we are of Christ, we are His followers, and we are Christ-minded.  If we’re not, can we truly call ourselves Christians?

The greatest commandments Jesus taught was this: “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these,” (Mark 12:29-31, emphasis mine).  Loving people, and treating people as one would want to be treated is to be a priority for being a follower of Christ!  It is one of the greatest commandments and it cannot be ignored!

Today, where do you know you need to view others as Christ did and respond to them in love, with patience, and the courtesy of our Savior?

Most, if not all of us, may be a continual work in progress in this area.  People are not always kind, but we can choose to be kind.  People are not always loving, but because we want to represent our Savior well, we can, as He did, choose to be loving.  The choice is always up to us on how we treat those whom we interact with daily and the random strangers that come across our path.

May we love people well, no matter who they are.

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12

Excerpt taken from Jesus Teaches His Followers

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