Intentional Acts of Kindness
Love is kind. – 1 Cor. 13:4
While the opportunities to express kindness can be spontaneous, sharing kindness is rarely random. We seldom fall backwards into acts of selflessness. Kindness is best delivered as a deliberate choice – a conscious decision to treat someone, regardless of circumstance, in the best possible way.
Many of the ideas associated with performing “random acts of kindness” are good, but simply substitute common synonyms for the word random in the phrase and it’s easy to see that random is not the best word to associate with kindness. Imagine encouraging someone to attempt chance, accidental, haphazard, arbitrary or casual acts of kindness. Each substitution is a bit humorous, because they fall short of the mark. If we’re to extend kindness, even in spontaneous moments and to total strangers, it’s best to do so with intention – to evaluate what they need to hear, see, know or feel in that moment and then provide it.
Kindness doesn’t require premeditation, but it does involve a choice – to act in the best interest of another person.
This week, practice intentional acts of kindness. Take acts of kindness beyond random activities and set it in your heart that you will be kind to the next person you meet.
Determine to pay attention to the people right in front of you. How can you be kind to them? Do they need to hear words of appreciation? Do they need to know that they’re not alone? Do they need to feel like someone is on their side?
Beyond extending kindness to strangers in random moments, think ahead and make a plan. Who will you be talking with, working with or hanging out with this week? Pick at least three people and plan to show kindness to them this week. Before meeting with them, ask God to help you pay attention and be able to see how you can demonstrate kindness to them.
There are dozens of creative ways to demonstrate kindness, but true kindness takes into account what the other person needs – pay attention and act with intention.