One Dollar’s Worth of Kindness

I have a $1 bill framed in my office.  No, I don’t worship money.  Instead, it serves as a reminder of God’s kindness to me through someone else.  Kindness may seem so simple, yet it matters so much.  As a Jesus follower, we know this because the kindness and love of Jesus go hand in hand.  It’s not our kindness that saves us, but rather it is through the love and kindness that He so graciously shows us.

Titus 3:4-5a
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”

 As an outpouring of the salvation we have received, we should be known for our kindness towards others.  This requires actually loving our neighbor.  A simple smile to a passerby?  Yes.  Holding the door for someone?  Absolutely.  These are a great start.  But it goes beyond that.  We ought to have a deep concern for the physical and spiritual needs of those around us.  That is the example Jesus set.  He saw a physical need, and through His love and kindness, He acted.  He saw our spiritual need for a Savior, and through His love and kindness, He acted.

This month, as we teach kids about the kindness of Jesus, perhaps we should begin with ourselves.  We can personalize this by pondering how kindness has shown up in our own lives.  Then we can share our stories in order to connect with kids, giving them a genuine example of what we’re teaching.  You will engage them and inspire them with the power of a real-life story.  Allow me to start.

Years ago, my wife and I struggled to heed God’s call into Full Time Ministry, largely due to financial reasons. God used many instances, such as someone at the grocery store leaving money to pay for our groceries, getting random gift cards in the mail, parents stepping up to pay for seminary, etc.. to show us that He would take care of us. On our final Sunday at the church where we volunteered prior to moving to seminary, I briefly shared our journey with the kids, telling them about our struggles.  A boy named Canaan came up to me after Large Group, handing me a $1 bill.  “Do you want me to put this in the offering?” I asked.  Canaan replied, “No.  It’s for you.  You are going to need it.”

Unsure, I responded, “I can’t take your money.” Canaan wouldn’t take no for an answer. He repeated, “It’s for you. You are going to need it.” I resolved to never spend that dollar, but use it as a reminder of the kindness, love, faithfulness, and generosity of God. Canaan, to this day, has no idea what an impact he made on my wife and I that day through a dollar’s worth of kindness. He has no idea how many other leaders and kids I’ve had the privilege to lead over the years. So, I have a $1 bill framed in my office. No, I don’t worship money.  Instead, it serves as a reminder of God’s kindness to me through someone else… through Canaan.

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