The power of kindness
“The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold” (Acts 28:1-2 ESV)
One definition I have heard for the word “kindness” is: “being kind to someone who is not your kind.” That puts an interesting slant on it doesn’t it? It is fairly easy to show kindness to our friends but what about the person who is totally different then you? The person who is simply not your “kind.”
Many years ago the apostle Paul was a prisoner aboard a ship headed for Italy. A few days into the journey, the sailors found themselves caught up in a violent storm. The tempest tossed the boat to and fro.
Luke wrote: “When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved” (Acts 27:20 NIV). However God had different plans. By the Lord’s providence, all 276 passengers were brought safely to the shore of an island (Acts 27:44).
The weary sea travelers were soon met by the native people. We read that these islanders showed them “unusual kindness.” The natives were welcoming and hospitable. They built a fire and provided for the needs of those around them. It didn’t matter that many of these natives did not speak the same language as the people they were helping. They were kind to those who were not their kind.
We can learn a great lesson from these natives. Every week we pass by people who are extremely different than us. They may wear strange clothes or talk differently than we do. Maybe they keep to themselves or do things in a way that seems unusual.
I want to encourage us to look for ways to show kindness to these people. Lets ask God to put someone on our hearts who we can reach out to. God can use our kindness to accomplish awesome things for His kingdom. We may never know the power of a kind word, or an encouraging card, or a warm smile
As Christians, have been shown profound kindness from Jesus. “While we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV). May we look to Christ as our example in how to love. The King will be honored when we show kindness to those who are not our kind.