John 13: 34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (NIV).
This is probably one of my favorite topics. A random act of kindness is defined by Wikipedia as, “… a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual person or people….” How great is that? In my opinion, a random act of kindness is a win-win situation for all involved. Not only do you perform an act or give something that someone else desperately needs, but you also get the pleasure of knowing that the gift was appreciated by watching their delight or secretly envisioning how your act or deed touched another’s life.
It’s the holidays again. This year is harder for some financially than last year was, and things were pretty difficult a year ago. Prices of almost everything are increasing while people fail to receive cost of living increases, get hours cut and lose part of their paycheck, or worse yet, are losing their jobs completely.
I want to challenge everyone today: Those who aren’t affected as much by the financial strain that our country is facing, those who are blessed to have a job and be able to provide for your family, and those who have no extra money to gift to someone else. Everyone has time, talents, or other valuable resources that someone would benefit from. What is one thing you can do this holiday to brighten someone else’s season? It can be secretive, extravagant, ongoing, or a one-time deal.
Our family tries throughout the year to perform random acts of kindness. I wish we had more financially so that we could do the more extravagant giving like paying for a random couple’s dinner out or walking up to someone in the grocery store and handing them a $20 bill to help with their groceries, something really cool like that. Our acts are usually on the smaller scale, but some day, I have faith that we too can bless others the way we have been blessed in ways that are more extravagant. But, the limits of our finances don’t stop us from randomly blessing others as we see needs.
My challenge to you is this: What about committing to one random act of kindness each week until Christmas? Big, small, ongoing, one-time – it doesn’t matter. They all count because they all bless the receiver as well as the giver. Then, if you liked it so much, why not commit to one random act of kindness each week in the year 2013? Everyone can participate, no matter what your finances or situation. Examples could be letting someone check out ahead of you at the grocery store because they are in a hurry and you have a little extra time, volunteering your time at a local school to read to the students or help readers who are struggling, paying for someone’s meal unexpectantly, sending a relative who needs extra cash a little something anonymously in the mail, offering to babysit two hours each week so your neighbor can have a little me-time, secretly shoveling your neighbor’s driveway in the winter, offering to refill your coworker’s coffee while you get your own, or giving away your Starbucks gift card, unused, to a random person on the street (who enjoys coffee).
The opportunities are limitless. The rewards are worth it. They usually don’t come immediately, but the joy that you will get for blessing someone else is worth every penny, every hour, every random act that you invest. And don’t forget to comment about what you did and how you felt afterwards. All of us would love to share in your happiness too!