Summary: Showing kindness to others is not only God’s command, but it also is the character of God. Perform acts of kindness toward strangers who cannot repay you and do it in Jesus’ name instead of your own.
The Conspiracy of Kindness
by David O. Dykes
This world could use a little more kindness and love. Judson College in Alabama is a Baptist college for women. A few years ago, the chaplain from Judson told about the time he was leading in prayer in the all-female chapel service. He prayed, “Lord give us kind hearts, Lord give us loving hearts. Lord give us sweet hearts!” And all the woman said, “Ah-men!”
We do need kind hearts. There’s a conspiracy of kindness happening in the Body of Christ these days. It’s an underground movement gaining momentum throughout America. The title of this message is taken from the book written by Steve Sjogren. Years ago, Steve started a congregation outside Cincinnati, Ohio with only a handful of people. They started something called “Servant Evangelism” in which they continually performed acts of kindness to people in their community. They never took any money for these good deeds. Today, over 4,000 people attend the church that started this conspiracy of kindness.
One year ago, we launched our first LYN Week. LYN stands for Love Your Neighbor. It was a designated time for you to go out into the community and perform acts of kindness for strangers. We’re doing the same thing again this year and we’re calling it LYN Week II. Our LYN Week strategy is simple: Every GABC member performing intentional acts of kindness in Jesus’ name to show the love of God to others. We had some amazing results from last year’s LYN Week.
The timing of last year’s LYN Week was a God-thing. We planned LYN week for months. One of our plans was to show our appreciation to teachers, firefighters, policemen, and EMS workers. Then right in the middle of LYN Week last year, the terrorists attacked America. It was as if God knew our community would be hurting and needing kindness that week. Green Acres members were already mobilized to show God’s love to a shaken community. We received dozens of letters from LYN last year; I want to share one of them with you that speaks to the amazing timing.
“During our week of horrific tragedies in the U.S., a group of ladies from Green Acres brought a chocolate cake to Griffin Elementary. I cannot express the gratitude I felt for this gesture of kindness. It made us feel so appreciated. It was indeed an act of compassion.”
On that Friday morning the reality of what had happened to our country had finally settled within me. I was depressed and I felt as though no one really cared about the teachers. That morning I awoke with the questions, “What about us? We’re having a hard time with this too.”
I just wanted to thank you for encouraging us that day. The timing was perfect. I and many others needed that.”
Deborah Hilburn, Griffin Elementary School
I have a folder full of letters like that. The great thing about LYN week is that kids can get involved in performing acts of kindness. After LYN week last year, some of our Sunday School classes had the kids report on their LYN activities. Here are a few of their reports:
“My friend did not have any money and she always watches me buy candy. One day I took her to the candy machine and said you could have any candy you want that costs 60 cents. She got some Skittles, and it made me and her feel good.”
Candace, third grade
“One day I saw my bathroom was a mess. So what I did was clean it up out of Kindness. My Mom got home and I said, ‘Mom, before you do anything else, go upstairs and see the bathroom.’ It was sparkling clean.”
Justin, fourth grade
“I watched my brother when my dad mowed the lawn. I watched the dishes when my mom took a shower. I played with my brother. I felt good because I helped my mom and dad.”
Katie, second grade
So, kids, teenagers, and adults. Come on, let’s LYN again, like we did last autumn. Yeah, let’s LYN again! Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with all your being. The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. When God is describing the attributes of love in I Corinthians 13:4 He says, “Love is patient, love is kind...” Kindness is just love with its work clothes on.
Now you shouldn’t just love your neighbor one week per year, but LYN week gives us a special time to demonstrate God’s love to others by performing acts of kindness. When a person enters into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, God changes that person’s spiritual DNA. A real follower of Jesus doesn’t act like the rest of the world; we don’t act naturally, we act supernaturally. In Ephesians 4:29, the Apostle Paul describes a Christian’s DNA . God’s Word tells us first how a believer doesn’t act, and then we see how we are to live. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” The natural people of this world use profanity frequently and often use their words to hurt others. A Christian’s DNA is different. We use words to encourage one another. Our deacon chairman, Bob Roseman, made that verse the theme of our Green Acres Deacons this year. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” When a Christian acts contrary to the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, He is grieved. Did you know sin in your life causes God to grieve? “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Now, that verse tells us how a Believer doesn’t behave, now let’s see how we are to act. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” I want to share four things about being kind and compassionate to others.