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Nameless, unremembered acts of kindness

The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.(William Wordsworth)

Take a moment today to just think of one kind act you can do for someone in your life. Who knows, it may even be someone you don't know, like the person with a flat tire stranded on the side of the road. Don't just do that kind deed because you may get something back in return - that doesn't make it a kind deed - it makes it a selfish one. The moment you do that kind deed, take notice of how it makes you feel. There is something like a feeling that the love of God in your life just multiplied. You know what - it isn't that his love multiplied in your life - it is that your sense of his presence did. You put yourself aside for a moment and allowed him to shine. 

Last of all, you must share the same thoughts and the same feelings. Love each other with a kind heart and with a mind that has no pride. (I Peter 3:8)

There is a definite difference between the 'nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love' and those we do because we want the attention, or desire something in return. As I was listening to the remade intro to Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, I recall the scene of introducing a new friend - a man who was very badly messed up by life's ugliness, leaving him angry and unable to forgive people in his life. Ephesians 4:32 reminds us that we are to forgive others as Christ forgave us. If you consider the ultimate act of kindness, the forgiveness of our sins would rank at the very top, wouldn't it? If you consider the ultimate act of kindness you might be called to extend today, it could be that someone in your life desires and needs the gift of your forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the ultimate act of kindness - it certainly requires we put ourselves aside and allow God to shine through us, doesn't it? Pride has absolutely no room where it comes to forgiveness. In fact, pride enters in anytime we desire to hold someone in a position of being 'in debt' to us - allowing bitterness to enter in and bring right along with it rage, anger, feelings of agony. We stay trapped in the bitterness - chained to the past. Not only does it chain us to the past, it anchors us to be unable to move on into the future. We only heal as we let go of the thing we are holding onto so tightly because we feel we will lose something we are owed if we let it go.

Loving each other with a kind heart and with a mind that has no pride - the ultimate act of kindness and love being that of forgiveness. It can be a nameless, unremembered act, can it not? Letting go of the hurt, releasing the debt, getting free of the chains that have you so badly bound - an act of kindness and love indeed. Who needs this "action" in your life today? What thing have you been holding onto so tightly because you think there is something 'owed to you'? If you resist, you will shut-down and your kindness will be superficial. If you submit, you will find that your world opens up to you in bright new ways. Just sayin!

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