Obedient To Grace - The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional
Obedient to Grace
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.
John 1:16, NIV
A few years ago, my husband stopped at a street corner to talk to a homeless man. The man said he was an Iraq War veteran who hadn’t had much luck at local shelters and just needed to purchase a bus ticket to get to another city. Moved by his story, my husband gave him some money to help purchase the ticket.
On his way home, he called Pastor Carol, the director of one of our local shelters—who also happens to be a friend—and related the story. She paused and then asked what he looked like. When he described the man, Pastor Carol immediately knew who my husband was talking about and that the man’s story about his past, however moving, was false.
Disappointed, Tim felt bothered that he had believed the man’s fabrication. Pastor Carol’s response, however, resonated with him: “You’re not responsible for his response or his truthfulness. You need to be faithful to do what God asks you to do and trust that he will take care of it. You can’t let someone else’s response dictate your giving.”
At the end of the day, the lesson we learned wasn’t about the man and his lie, it was about ourselves. Although we always try to give wisely, our larger purpose is to give and let it go. After all, we are responsible only for our obedience in responding to God’s guidance in giving. There’s no sense in worrying after the fact about whether the person deserved the gift. Rather than trying to find some arbitrary definition of what makes someone truly in need of help, let’s let God judge the appropriateness of their response. After all, as John 1:16 reminds us, haven’t we all been given more than we deserve?
— Today’s Act of Kindness —
Practice giving without judgment by doing an act of kindness for someone whose circumstances are beyond your knowledge. For example, you could pay for the person in the car behind you in the coffee shop drive-thru lane.