Intentional Acts of Kindness

Welcome  We’re all familiar with the concept of “random acts of kindness.”  Sounds nice, right?  We can use all the kindness we can get these days!  I agree that it’s good to take advantage of any opportunity that arises where you can lift someone’s spirits or brighten their day.  But I’m beginning to think that random acts of kindness are just not enough.  I don’t believe courtesy should be incidental, but intentional.  Thanks for joining me today.  Note–I may receive a small compensation from affiliate links seen on this blog post.  For further information, please see my Terms and Disclosure page.

Food For Thought  The definition of kindness is the act of being kind.  Well, that’s not very helpful in determining what kindness is and why we should plan to be kind.  Some of the synonyms for kind include courteous, grace and mercy.  I am deeply moved by the words grace and mercy in this list.  As Christians we have been shown immeasurable grace and mercy from our Lord and Savior.  Talk about kindness!  Now, if we look at the word “intentional” we see that it means done with intention or by design.  When God showed us grace and mercy and forgiveness by sacrificing His Son, it was done by design.  It was part of His plan.  His plan also included Christians being the “hands and feet” of Christ.  Through this intentional act, we show kindness to others.  By displaying kindness, through manners, service to others, smiles, and pleasant words, we are modeling the example of Christ for others.  He is reaching the lives of others through us and our actions.  And these actions cannot just be a hit-or-miss, but deliberate and purposeful.

This is a good lesson for me…I really need to pay attention here.  It is easy to be kind to others after they’ve been kind to me.  It is easy to show kindness to my true friends.  Being kind to strangers during those random acts is fairly easy.  And all of these acts make us feel good, help others, and are not a waste of time or energy.  But what about expressing kindness to those who have done as wrong?  Showing kindness to those whom we might feel take advantage of these acts?  And I’m certainly guilty of being “too busy, too tired, or too this or that.”  That’s why being kind has to be intentional.  If we do not plan to be kind every day, to everyone, it’s easy to fall into the “too this or that” trap and not be kind to anyone!

Please, by all means, do not stop doing your random acts of kindness.  I believe God is very pleased when we take advantage of these opportunities to spread a little love and kindness in this world.  But here is my challenge for you today…plan some kindness.  Look around your neighborhood or work and see where you can intentionally display some kindness.  Coworkers love a hot beverage or pastries brought into the office for no reason.  Your neighbor would be pleasantly surprised if you raked their leaves while you raked your own.  Stopping to chat with the elderly gentleman you pass on your daily walk may be the highlight of his day.  Picking up some extra groceries on your next supermarket trip to donate at the local food pantry is a planned act of kindness that benefits many.

Today’s Prayer  My Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your love, grace, mercy, and kindness.  Lord, let me serve You and Your kingdom my expressing kindness to others.  Please help me to be aware and take advantage of the opportunities that may be presented to me to show kindness, but also to plan intentional ways to be kind to others.  In Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

Today’s Scriptures  In John 13:34, we are commanded to love one another.  In 1 Corinthians 13:4, we are told that love is kind.  Therefore, if we are loving one another, we are also showing kindness.  Here just a few other verses where kindness is mentioned in scripture.

Galatians 5:22  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness”

Colossians 3:12  “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Isaiah 54:8  “In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.

Today’s Recipe  Sharing a hot, steamy bowl of soup with a friend or neighbor is an opportunity to express kindness, in an easy and comforting way.  This Chicken Fajita Chili cooks all day in the slow cooker.  It travels well in the crock so you can share some hot soup at work or a neighborhood get-together.Chicken Fajita Chili

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers (you can mix up the colors, I used red and yellow this time)
  • 1 7-oz can chopped green chiles
  • 1 8-oz block cream cheese
  • 1 packet fajita seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch dressing powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • fajita condiments of choice-shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc.

1 Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.  Place chicken breasts in cooker.  Sprinkle HALF of each packet of fajita seasoning and ranch powder.

2 Top chicken with sliced onion and bell peppers.

3 Add canned chiles, beans, corn, and cubed cream cheese.

4 Sprinkle the rest of the seasoning and ranch powder on top and add water.  Turn slow cooker to low and cook 7-8 hours.

5 Serve with favorite fajita sides…we just added a little shredded cheese and some hot sauce to our bowls.

In the market for a new slow cooker?  Check out these links below (11/16/17; 2:45 p.m. CST):