Can We Ever Really be Both Kind and Effective?

“Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy” (2 Kings 5:2-3).

Do nice guys really finish last? In a way, they do, at least in the short term. Cranky patrons at a busy restaurant may holler their way to quick service, but waitresses will avoid them in the future. Impatient drivers may arrive at their destination quicker than courteous drivers, but in the long run they will pile up traffic citations and get into more accidents, too.

God tells us in no uncertain terms that the truth is the exact opposite of worldly thinking: A heart of great kindness produces much more fruit than any other heart. Of course it’s effective. Remember God’s ways are not our ways:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).

This servant girl held captive by the Syrians could have resented her captors, her situation, and even God. Instead she offered to help. While we don’t know much about this girl, she seems to have been in touch with God, and was spiritually sensitive. She could have remained silent, and brooded over her captivity, but instead she helped. Why? She, like Jesus, seemed to care:

“Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean” (Mark 1:44-42).

When our hearts love and serve God, we care about others. God tells us to put on a heart of compassion (Colossians 3:12). Hardened hearts do not care for the needs of others, only their own. But God’s people need to take the lead of the Good Samaritan who helped the man traveling from Jerusalem, even dressing his wounds and finding him adequate shelter (Luke 10:31-37).

We need to touch wounds, and tell the good news about Jesus’ love and salvation. Who can do that? People who care.

Application

1. Ask God to soften your heart so that you see people as Jesus does, lost, oppressed, and in need of a shepherd.

2. Pray that God would lead you to help someone out and to share God’s love with them.

3. Ask God for boldness and opportunities to share His love for others.

Prayer

Lord, thank you for caring for my soul and for sending someone to share Your love with me. Now Lord I want to reach out and touch others with Your love. Please use me to touch other lives, that I might be a source of blessing to others. I pray that I would not turn inward, preoccupied with life’s cares and troubles. Instead make me a blessing to those in need.


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