Choosing the perfect gift can be one of the most frustrating experiences on earth. We are often at a complete loss to know what kind of gifts to buy our friends and loved ones on special occasions. For some people (especially those who “have everything”), the customary gift won’t cut it. Nothing online or in the shopping mall ever seems to be unique or worthy of excitement.
I have a suggestion. My suggestion may not seem luxurious or sound very original, but believe me, it works every time. It’s a special gift that has enormous worth but no visible price tag. It can’t be lost, it requires no batteries, it will never be forgotten, nor will it ever decrease in value. Oh! There will never be a problem with size, style or color. It fits all shapes, any age, every personality, and is affordable for every budget. This ideal gift is . . . you. I suggest that we never forget the extraordinary value of kindness.
I’m very serious, give some of yourself away:
Give an hour of your time to someone who needs you.
Give a note of encouragement to someone feeling down.
Give a hug of affirmation to someone lacking confidence.
Give a listening ear to someone needing to be heard.
Give some time to someone who is lonely.
Give a meal to someone who is sick.
Give a word of compassion to someone who has suffered a loss.
Give a second chance to someone who has failed.
Give thoughtful attention to someone who is often overlooked.
Give a gentle response to someone annoying and bothersome.
In the words of Ephesians 4:32, be kind, helpful, thoughtful, and compassionate.
Kindness is defined by all the one another commands of the Bible (and there’s about 40 of them!). Kindness fuses mercy and grace, humility and gentleness all together. Kindness gives sacrificially, requires humility, and asks that we think of others before ourselves.
The world should be able to look to the Church of Jesus Christ as a model of kindness. Unfortunately, ask someone on a street in St. Mary’s County how they would describe the Christians they know and I fear that “kind” would not be the first or even second word used. We can change that.
Kindness is something you and I can give today. And we can give it generously. It is given in a gentle response. Being the first to forgive. Giving the gift of time, compassion, and thoughtfulness. In ordinary ways, we can give ourselves away and, by doing so, model God’s agape love. Remember 1 Corinthians 13:4—“Love is kind.”
Look for ways today to give the gift of ordinary kindness, and you’ll find there’s nothing ordinary about it. What an awesome gift to give!