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Without Effort

L.O. Harper

When he saw him, he had compassion upon him.
(Luke 10:33)

There is a story about a young boy who on coming home from school found his mother in the bed sick. He expressed his regret, told her he hoped she would feel better, and left the room.  In a little while, now hungry, he came back, nudged her shoulder, and told her that he was getting pretty big and strong now, so he would be happy to carry her downstairs to the kitchen so she could fix him supper.

Sometimes we are willing to announce good intentions and do good things for others so we can get a benefit – whatever that might be. Being kind to get a return rings hollow, too ingenuine, manipulative, not to mention deceptive.

Our Lord demonstrates time and again the motive for helping.  It is love for love’s sake.  His parable of a beaten and helpless traveler helped by a passerby illustrates His command to live out merciful kindness.  What’s more, the cultural prejudice in His illustration drives the point home with force; that is, be the one who acts upon compassion regardless of any prejudice. 

This has been the mantra of the Christian experience simply because Christ first loved us.  Acts of kindness grow out of a faith that recognizes the compassion already received.  It flows without effort, spills out without having to be coached, lives above the norm of daily relationships, and shocks the recipient with the grace authored by the Spirit of God.

Wherever you might be today, there will be an opportunity to offer kindness.