Kindness – Do Something Great That Costs You Nothing

Jelly Beans

Our church recently held a major Easter outreach. My self-appointed job was taking a large bag of candy and greeting people as they made their way across the parking lot.

As a family with two young girls decked out in their finest Easter dresses approached me, I knelt down to talk with the girls about the event. I told them my job was pre-candy. I was giving everyone a piece of candy to hold them over until they entered the event. A fun job to have!

They thanked me and as they walked away I heard one of the girls say, “Daddy, why was he so nice?” (Nailed it!)

Her words made me smile, but also convicted me. Why don’t we take more opportunities to be nice?

I was challenged to:

Use Kind Words

My go to phrase when being checked out at Wal-Mart is to ask the cashier (using their name), “Are they being nice to you today?”

The normal response is, “Oh yes.” But one day the cashier teared up and responded, “No it’s been an awful day. Our system is giving us fits and I’ve cussed out several times. Everyone is impatient and angry, and I don’t want to be here anymore…”

I told her that I had been working hard on being nice and saying please and thank you. I also said that if I failed to be nice she had permission to punch me in the stupid. A slight smile cracked.

As I left I told her I appreciated her taking care of me and that I hoped she would have a much better afternoon. A genuine smile followed.

A genuine smile is always worth a few kind words. Take the time to collect a few!

Do Kind Deeds

Gentlemen, yes you should hold the door for that lady!

Always help your co-worker pick up the pile of papers they just dropped.

Why wouldn’t you help the elderly lady put her groceries in the trunk? 

Yes, you should offer to help the young ladies alongside the road with a flat tire.

And finally, yes, you should take flowers to the hotel desk clerk you were a jerk to… (moment of transparency – sorry).

The point is, you never know when your act of kindness will have an incredible impact on the life you touch.

Communicate With Kindness

This is very similar to use kind words, my thought is more toward professional, business and social media communication.

I have a folder in my Inbox that I keep encouraging e-mails in. They were sent to me by missionaries, pastors, business associates, co-workers and my favorite wife.

Some of them are silly, some of them are encouraging, most of them are precious to me.

I look to these words of kindness and encouragement when I am discouraged, or when Satan seems to be riding in my shirt pocket for the day.

Often they remind me to be the encouragement in someone else’s life. I want my words saved in someone’s Inbox!

Kindness costs us so little, but it can mean so much.

The unseen value will be eternal in our lives.

Mark 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

Where can you make kindness happen today?

How To Life A Life Free Of Selfishness

Selfishness is a ruthless taskmaster that sucks the joy from your life. Selfishness is being devoted to caring only for oneself, and being concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, or welfare, regardless of others.
Photo of people displaying selfishness
The words from the video clip stung, “I have been the most selfish person to ever live…” The next point in the pastor’s message was, “It’s Not About You.”
I suspected I may have an issue when half my family pointed at me and laughed. I know it’s not all about me, but what everyone fails to understand is – I want it to be!
Anyone there with me? The problem is, making it all about you requires us to exert a great deal of selfishness.
Selfishness is a dysfunctional family. It’s next of kin are greed, bitterness, anger, and depression. Living a life filled with selfishness is a fantastic way to be miserable.
[bctt tweet=”Living a life filled with selfishness is a fantastic way to be miserable.” username=”michaelkduff”]
So how do we beat the selfishness that dwells within us?

I. Selfishness Flees When You Are Thankful 

It is very difficult to be selfish and thankful at the same time. The next time you find yourself slipping into selfishness, try being thankful for something.
In addition, thankfulness is the Will of God.
I Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
You must develop the habit of being thankful. One blogger recommended that you journal three things you are thankful for each morning during your devotion time. If you don’t have a quiet time you need to start one because selfishness is best fought with truth!

II. Selfishness Fades When You Serve Others

There is a trap in serving others – it is possible to serve selfishly. Serving others never needs a press release!
We can find glory and pride in serving others, especially if you tend to love being in the spotlight. It’s hard to swallow, but remember serving others is not about you… please don’t hate me, this is hard for me as well.
You need to look for a way of serving that will not benefit you in any way, other than the reward of serving others. Go scoop soup at the local homeless shelter, slip the homeless guy on the corner a cheeseburger, stay and help cleanup the church after everyone has gone home.
Mark 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
Is it possible the cure for your selfishness is as simple as humility?

III. Selfishness Fails When You Kill The Monster

“Be careful or the green-eyed monster will get you!” Wise words spoken by my Mother-In-Law many years ago. When you set your eyes on something that someone else has whether it be success, possessions or status, that desire will quickly begin to work through your selfish nature and the monster begins to grow.
All selfishness wants from you is a little more regardless of the cost. Selfishness is never satisfied or content.
The Bible calls this consuming desire for more, covetousness and God knew it would be a big deal in your life which is why He made it one of the Big 10!
Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
The best weapon to fight the green-eyed monster is contentment. When we recognize and are satisfied with all that God has blessed us with, selfishness will not survive. Contentment is a byproducts of the thankfulness we talked about earlier.
How do you recognize and deal with selfishness? Share a comment below or share this post with someone who might benefit from it.