Kindness ~ A gift worth receiving

Kindness is key3So far this month we’ve talked about kindness as a gift from God, to ourselves, and to others. This week we’re going to talk about receiving kindness. That may seem a little odd. How hard is it to receive someone’s kindness? But stick with me.

Have you ever had someone offer to clean your house when you had had a surgery, or watch your kids, or bring a meal, or drive you to a doctor’s appointment, or any number of things and brushed them off because you were too uncomfortable to let them that close.

I have. My pride has kept me from letting people near enough to help.

We American’s like to lean hard on our own independence. We will {fill in the blank} if it kills us!

I’ve been guilty of keeping people at arms length when they just wanted to express love to me and my family. And I’ve been frustrated when people have done the same thing to me.

Here’s the tricky thing about kindness, it needs a recipient. It’s hard to do good if there isn’t a person on the receiving end. That’s true of God’s kindness to us as well. He has stretched out his offer of forgiveness and reconciliation to the whole world. The problem – many people refuse it. “No, no God, I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you. I got this. It’s no trouble, I can handle it on my own!” But that’s not how life works. Everyone is in need of God’s kindness, and very often we’re in need of each other’s kindness as well.

It’s funny how life works that way. Give and take, need and gift, loneliness and love, brokenness and healing, hurt and forgiveness. It’s the nature of our humanity. We rail against it, in our thoughts and our actions. But it doesn’t change a thing. We are needy people.

I get it. I dislike being in need. I have lived a total of three years and seven months in other family’s homes. That is a long time. I didn’t plan it. But our family has needed a place to stay at various times for various reasons. And every one of those needs has been met with kindness.

Here’s what I’ve learned from being in need: Receiving is as much a spiritual discipline as giving. You can be a great giver and a lousy receiver. But both matter. Here’s why.

We reflect the nature of Jesus in both aspects. Jesus not only came to give great gifts, he also put himself in a place of need. During his ministry he was poor and allowed women to travel with him to meet his needs. Give and take creates a sense of community.

When we refuse someone’s gift of kindness pride is often at the root of the refusal. On the other hand humility and gratitude are at the heart of a gracious receiver.

Also, when we rely on the body of Christ to meet our physical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs we are telling God we trust him. The body is God’s primary tool for meeting the needs of his people. When we recognize that we honor him.

Are you a gracious recipient of kindness? Or do you brush people off, embarrassed by the attention and determined to care for things on your own? You can reflect the heart of Jesus not only by being kind, but also by graciously receiving kindness from others.

Let’s pray:
Heavenly Father, thank you for the kindness you have showered on us, help us also to receive the gift of kindness from others. Give us hearts of humility and gratitude. We want to be healthy members of your body, learning to give and receive. Thank you. Amen.

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3 thoughts on “Kindness ~ A gift worth receiving

  1. Pingback: Someone Kind | The Accidental Mama

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