“If you feed those who are hungry and take care of the needs of those who are troubled, then your light will shine in the darkness . . . The Lord will always lead you. He will satisfy your needs in dry lands . . . You will be like a garden that has much water, like a spring that never runs dry” Isaiah 58:10-11 (NCV).
There is always a cost to kindness. It inevitably causes you to sacrifice time, money, energy, reputation, privacy, or something. There was a cost for the Good Samaritan, too.
In Luke 10:34b-35, it says, “Then [the Good Samaritan] put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here’” (NLT).
This guy did all he could to take care of a total stranger. First, he administered first aid at the scene of the crime. He put him on his donkey — which, by the way, means that he walked — and then took him to a motel. The Good Samaritan cared for him through the night and then paid the bill. This guy did whatever it took to show kindness.
What did he gain from it? Nothing. He didn’t even know the guy! But that’s what kindness is — when you do something for somebody without expecting anything back. So why be kind? Why show kindness when you know you won’t get anything in return?
When I did a study of that question, I read every single verse on kindness in the Bible, and I made a list of the many, many reasons why the Bible says we should be kind.
Here are a few of the reasons:
• God has been kind — extravagantly kind — to you.
• Kindness is an act of worship.
• Kindness honors God.
• Kindness makes you happy.
• Kindness even makes you attractive (check out Proverbs 19:22 in the Living Bible)!
• Kindness makes other people want to be kind to you.
Finally, God blesses kindness: “If you feed those who are hungry and take care of the needs of those who are troubled, then your light will shine in the darkness . . . The Lord will always lead you. He will satisfy your needs in dry lands . . . You will be like a garden that has much water, like a spring that never runs dry” (Isaiah 58:10-11 NCV).
God says that when you assume responsibility for the needs of hurting people around you, he will also meet your needs. What a deal! And God always keeps his promises.
Talk It Over:
- Why do you think it’s important that kindness costs you something?
- How has God provided for you even when you had to give something up for the good of someone else?
- How is kindness an act of worship?