My church recently found out about a lady in our community whose house is in severe need of repair. Her house is situated in a neat, middle class neighborhood and has been an eye-sore because of the disrepair. This is a lady who speaks very little English and has had some very difficult situations happen beyond her control that has given her very little hope that she would ever be able to fix her home. Several neighbors became upset and wrote letters to the city so something could be done. The result was that the city warned her that if she did not fix her home, she would lose her home. The problem is that she doesn’t have the financial means to fix the costly repairs needed. A staff person in our church found out about the situation and began making progress on getting a team over to her house to fix it. The roof needed to be completely replaced, so the church hired a contractor (who has given a significantly lower price when he heard her story) and the roof is being repaired even as I type this blog. I am not telling this story to glorify my church because God would have used another willing vessel if we would not have stepped in; it is to show the difference kindness can make. Please turn to Proverbs 14:20-21.
This Proverb is very clear that we are to be kind to our neighbors, whether they are poor or wealthy. In fact, it is a sin to despise your neighbor. Wow! That is very strong wording and very convicting. I love the way The Message words this proverb, “It’s criminal to ignore a neighbor in need, but compassion for the poor – what a blessing!” Please look at Proverbs 14:31, “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” I am by no means implying that this lady has evil neighbors; they may have not thought about the fact that they had a woman in need living next to them. We have all put up blinders to the needs around us at some time; in fact, when I heard this story it was a good heart check for me that I do not respond to my neighbors in a way that is not helpful when they are in need.
Here is a perfect example of how showing kindness to this lady has already honored God and the church has just barely gotten started on her home. This lady had been saying to her nephew since the problems started that God would send help. God used our church to see her need and step in. When her nephew saw this, it became a testimony of God’s provision and his aunt’s faith. The neighbors have noticed that the church has been coming over and making plans for repair. Perhaps the church modeling God’s kindness will draw others in the neighborhood to Him. After all, God’s kindness to us is what drew us to Him. Please look up Romans 11:22. When we are grafted into the vine, we have experienced God’s kindness and we are to bear the fruit of kindness to those around us.
Do you see opportunities around you to show God’s kindness?