In devotions this morning, Mrs. Bolkema, one of our physical education teachers, shared with the staff how showing kindness to others and displaying the Fruit of the Spirit kindness in our lives is an “intentional intuition to take a risk”. She then went on to tell the story of Moses and how his mother showed kindness to him by placing him in a basket and sending him down the Nile River to save his life. I can understand her reasoning but, as a parent, cannot fathom how she did what she did. Letting go of our children and trusting them into God’s care is one of the greatest risks we as Christian parents often take. Is it necessary? Yes. Is it easy? Many times not.
There are many stories in the bible that show the risk that was involved in showing kindness to others. Rahab showed kindness to the spies by hiding them on her roof, knowing that if she was caught she would be killed. David showed kindness to Saul even though Saul was hunting him and trying to kill him. David still showed Saul the respect and honor he was required as king. Joseph showed kindness to his brothers by forgiving them and helping them during their time of need. Josephs kindness came at the risk of being rejected by his brothers again but he took the risk anyway. By doing so, he was blessed with not only reconciliation with his brothers, but with his father as well. And the list could go on.
I once read that faith is spelled R.I.S.K. In my twenty plus years of walking with the Lord I can see how this is accurate. When we attempt something that we have never done before there is the risk of failure or being criticized by those who may not understand. Jesus told Peter to get out of the boat. Was it risky? Of course! But Peter had faith in Jesus and that made all the difference. We have to remember that taking a risk may end in failure, but in the words of Winston Churchill, “Success is going from failure to failure.” It’s part of the process. But going through it leads us to maturity.
God never looks at our past failures. He is more interested in how we are willing to risk it all for Him and for His kingdom. I was challenged this morning to wake up every day with the intention of taking risks. That may be sacrificing my morning routine to spend those moments with my kids before they head out for the day. Or it may be letting go of my expectations, to put others first, and to purpose in my heart to see God’s plans for the day. Sometimes we can become so caught up in what we want to get done that we miss an opportunity to show kindness to others. If we can remember the blessing that comes when we walk in obedience to God and strive to display every fruit of the Spirit, we will be motivated to risk more and more.
Showing kindness is having faith knowing God sees the bigger picture. We may not always know why He does what He does, but we can rest in the fact that He has everything under control. God constantly views our lives with future success in mind. God wants to give us new dreams and new purpose. And He’s calling us to step out in faith (to take that risk) and trust Him completely.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isa. 43:19)