“‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” (Matthew 25:37-40; New Living Translation).
Take the Sixty Second Challenge—dare yourself to be kind and positive to brighten someone's day.
Think about the countless people you see throughout your day-to-day life. You don't know where they're from, what they're going through, or in many cases, even their name. Try brainstorming a list of examples. Here's some to start:
• Check-out clerks
• Gas station attendants
• Food service and retail workers
• Custodial staff
• Other people driving on the road
• Receptionists and secretaries
• Maintenance workers
• Joggers, walkers and bikers
• Post officers and delivery workers
As you continue this list, remember God's instruction to be a light to others (Matthew 5:14-16). You and I probably only interact with these individuals for a minute at most. What kind of positive—or negative—impressions could someone get from us in those short 60 seconds?
This is why it's so important to God that we are kind, gentle, forgiving and patient at all times. This way we are always ready to have a positive effect on others and be outstanding representatives of God and His way of life.
This might seem like a tiny or unimportant effort, but remember what God says about things that seem that way: "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities" (Luke 16:10, NLT). God expects you to be faithful in all aspects of your life. By showing kindness to others, you are sharing your faith.
How can we share our faith in this way? Let's write another list together—please add your own ideas for this in the comments!
• Give appropriate eye contact
• Wave or shake hands where acceptable
• Say "please" when asking for something
• Forgive or overlook a mistake they might have made
• Greet them and ask how they are doing
• Hold the door for them or let them go through before you
• Offer to help them carry something
• Tell them "thank you"
• Strike up a positive, casual conversation
• Wish them a good day
Take the Sixty Second Challenge—dare yourself to be kind and positive to brighten someone's day. Challenge yourself to do this to every new person you see or interact with that day. Take the actions above and apply them to the people we listed earlier. Wave to the mailman. Thank the janitor. Ask the cashier how she's doing. You might not even have a full minute with any of these people, but see how much of an influence you can have with the time you're given.
By reaching out to others in kindness, we are lights in a dark world. There's no telling what that other person was going through during the rest of their day. But for just 60 seconds, you can be a light to them—and that can make all the difference.
Other verses to consider when going out of our way to be kind to others
"And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32).
"Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).
"A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself" (Proverbs 11:17; English Standard Version).