This past August, in St. Petersburg, Florida, some undercover kindness began at 7 a.m., when a woman in the drive thru paid for her iced coffee and a stranger’s caramel macchiato in the car behind her. This “drive-thru kindness” lasted 11 hours, with 378 people paying for each stranger’s caffeine fix in the car behind them.
That’s a LOT of coffee. And a lot of kindness! (This is like what First Cary did with our ARK cards last year (Acts of Random Kindness) – we’re going to pull them back out for the kids and encourage them t find ways to use them this month.)
Anonymous drivers joined in the undercover kindness because they just wanted people to feel special, to feel like someone cared for them. But as it turns out, they ended up being part of something so much bigger than themselves that the story of their kindness made national news!
And whether they knew it or not, all of those people who joined in that extreme act of kindness were just reflecting something bigger.
Think about it. When you look at the life of Jesus, He demonstrated kindness all the time. But He not only showed kindness to others, He actually flipped the whole idea of kindness on its head and redefined it for not only His disciples, but all of us.
He showed kindness to all people. People who were marginalized. People with bad reputations. Children, beggars, the sick and outcast, all people—regardless of whether they could return the kindness given to them.
In the month of February, it seems like everyone is talking about how they’re going to show their friends and family how valuable they are with cards and candy and flowers. But it could be that the simplest way we can make the most impact is by showing kindness the way Jesus did and the way He taught His followers.
We live in a world that most often seems like it’s anything but kind. Kindness is so rare that the acts of kindness like what happen in Florida make national news! And just think about the arguments that break out within our own families.
But what would happen if kindness didn’t seem so rare? What would happen if we decided to live out what Jesus said about showing others they are valuable?
That’s why we’re taking the whole month to look more closely at kindness: showing others they are valuable by how you treat them with our Elementary aged kids.
All month we’ll be working on memorizing Luke 6:31, “Do to others as you want them to do to you.” This simple verse is a great reminder of what Jesus said about Kindness. We would want others to show kindness towards us, so it’s important that we turn around and show kindness to them as well.
For Week 1, we kick off the month with a familiar story found in Mark 10:13-16. Back in Jesus’ time, children were seen but not heard—and most often they weren’t even supposed to be seen, but Jesus did something different. He said, “Let the children come to me… God’s kingdom belongs to people like them.” Jesus showed kindness to the children when He welcomed them with open arms.
Bottom Line: There’s always time to be kind. We hope kids can remember, that they are never so important that they can’t take time to be kind to those around them.
Through the stories this month, we hope kids will understand that showing kindness is really important. Not only is kindness a fruit of the Spirit (which is the focus of our ROCKStars (4th/5th grade fellowship) gatherings this year); but it’s also one of the best ways to tap into Jesus’ character. When we show kindness to others, we are reflecting the heart of Jesus to them.
As a parent or leader, one of the most powerful things you can do this month is help a child understand how they can cooperate with God to treat people with kindness; how they would want to be treated. And who knows, their own version of Undercover Kindness might just end up changing the world.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR 3RD – 5TH GRADE TEACHERS:
In the Preschool world, it’s love month! It’s love month! I love love month. All those hearts. All the pink, red and purple. And all that chocolate. Oh wait, that’s not what love month is all about. Love month is about showing the people around us how much we really do care. Or, in the new lingo, that we <3 them. We love them.
No matter how much love and how many <3s we shower on our favorite people, it will never be anything compared to the love that Jesus has for us. Jesus’ love is immeasurable. It’s wide and long and high and deep. It’s forever. It’s huge. It’s awesome. It’s what we want our preschoolers to know about this month.
We’re going to tell some love stories this month. No, not the Hallmark channel ones—the real ones from the Bible. The ones that show us how much Jesus loves us. We’ll start with two parables that Jesus told to show us how much we are loved. This week is the story of the lost sheep. That shepherd searched and searched until he found the lost sheep. That shepherd loved his lost sheep just as Jesus loves us.
Our team will be praying for you, our shepherds, to have moments filled with wonder as you give preschoolers a “first look” at the God who loves them, made them, and wants to be their friend forever.
Holy hearts, Batman, you read the whole thing – I <3 U!
Here are your lessons for the week:
By Dan Scott ©2014 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.