Conspiracy of Kindness

Today’s Bible Reading2 Kings 5:1–27

Recommended ReadingEphesians 4:32—5:11 Thessalonians 5:15Titus 3:4–6

The 19th-century American novelist Henry James wrote classics such as The Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians and The Ambassadors. University students today still study his writings.

However, few students learn about the novelist’s perspective on the most basic matters of life. Perhaps the best expression of James’s views occurred in a conversation he had with his nephew, William. Wishing to offer his best advice, Uncle Henry said, “Willie, three things are important in human life. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.”

Thousands of years ago a young slave girl also knew the importance of being kind. She was an Israelite girl who’d been stolen from her family, carted off into a foreign land and made a slave to her enemies. Yet she felt great compassion for those who had enslaved her—even for the master of her household, Naaman, a man afflicted with leprosy.

The truth is, most of us would probably enjoy some secret sense of satisfaction in seeing Naaman suffer. We’d think he was simply getting what he deserved. But the slave girl found no delight in Naaman’s malady. Instead, she spoke wistfully of healing for her oppressor: “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy” (verse 3).

God wants to use us—just as he used a humble slave girl—to further his purposes. Even to change history. We might not be rich, famous, powerful or important. But if we’re available, God can work through us to change situations and the hearts of individuals—even through a simple act of kindness.

To Take Away

  • What prevents you from showing kindness?
  • When have you felt God’s kindness through someone else’s actions? How did it feel?
  • When you pray, ask God to show you where he wants to demonstrate his kindness through you.

In Other Words

“Dearest Lord, may I see you today and every day in the person of your sick, and whilst nursing them minister to you.” —Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Copyright © 2006 by Zondervan.

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