Grace: Intentional Acts of Kindness

By on February 1, 2016

By Kathy Carlton Willis−

Modified excerpt from Grin with Grace, 2015 AMG Publishing

February 14-20 is Random Acts of Kindness Week. Showing God’s love through kindness is good. But let’s take it a step further and do intentional acts of kindness. Random implies spontaneous and on a whim. An intentional act takes forethought and a desire to bless the recipient by considering that person’s needs.

When I lived in Kentucky, one of my friends was a licensed nail technician. She chose to be a blessing by offering to do my pedicures while I recovered from back surgery. She said the Lord laid it on her heart to encourage me in this way, and God knew exactly what I needed. She was practicing intentional acts of kindness. One time she decided to surprise me with a carefully made meal for two. She put paper plates inside colorful plastic holders, loaded them with meat and vegetables, and wrapped them for travel. Then in Styrofoam cups she layered a fruit parfait for each of us. This took thought and planning ahead of time rather than acting on a whim. What a blessing! While I ate her homemade meal, my feet were soaking in a pedicure bath—now that was good living!

I told Sandy she was doing the modern-day equivalent of foot washing. She humbled herself to do such a service (and in the process was an instrument of God’s grace to me). She quoted the passage about beautiful feet: “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15 NLT). I wouldn’t call my feet beautiful, but God’s grace certainly is.

Another friend in Kentucky used to take time out of her busy schedule to call me when she discovered things on sale that she knew I needed. She helped me in my quest for frugal living by pointing me in the direction of savings. In doing this, she lightened my load. To give you an example: I needed loose-fitting clothing to wear after a pending surgery. My friend told me about a special sale going on at a store for women who are (ahem) ample sized. By looking out for me, she helped me find and purchase clothing originally priced at $225 on sale for just $53!

These are just two examples of taking time to deliberately bless those around us with acts of kindness. A card, a phone call, a meal, a pedicure are just a few ideas for being an instrument of God’s grace. The best way to know how to be a blessing to someone is to ask God to show you. As you pray for God to reveal specific ways to extend grace, He will lead you to know what would be an encouragement to others—and He’ll even show you who needs a dose of blessing. It all starts with prayer and an others-focused mindset.

Put some thought into how you might show intentional kindness to someone this week and demonstrate God’s wonderful, beautiful grace.

Kathy Willis updated contributor photoKathy Carlton Willis writes and speaks with a balance of funny and faith—whimsy and wisdom. She shines the light on issues that hold readers back and inspires lightbulb moments. Almost a thousand of Kathy’s articles have been published and she’s written several books, including Grin with Grace (AMG Publishers). She and her husband/pastor, Russ, live in Texas. Learn more at: www.kathycarltonwillis.com

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Grace: Intentional Acts of Kindness