Monday, February 27, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

A local radio station recently asked people to perform random acts of kindness, and then call into the station and tell them about it.  One woman called in, quite annoyed that she hadn't been thanked for her kindness.  That got me thinking.

Why do we do acts of service and kindness?  Is it for the thanks? If so, we need to rethink our motives. I am reminded of the story, found in Luke 17, of Jesus healing the 10 lepers.  Jesus healed 10 men, but only 1 man returned to thank Jesus.  Can you imagine? Jesus performed a miracle, healing these people from a disease that kept them from their family and community, and only one returned to thank him. 

If Jesus only received thanks from 10% of those healed, should we expect more for our random acts of kindness? We should not. Further more, if you read Matthew 6:3-4, it states, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret." If we are giving with the hope of being noticed and thanked, that is hardly acting in secret.

Receiving thanks makes us feel good, and that is okay. But if the thanks are what are propelling your good acts, that is where the problem is.  The Bible says that when people see our good works, it should glorify our Father in heaven...not us. Surely, it is God's goodness that causes us to act, when we act without wrong motives. 

You random of acts of kindness are not the things that give you worth. You have worth simply because you are a child of God.  You are worthy, because Jesus died for you. Jesus has done so much for us. Let's stop and thank him for his random, and not so random, acts of kindness.  He is the one that truly deserves our thanks and praise.

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at

Chatty Kelly


Sharon Sloan said...

Wow, Kelly....I love your point about only 10% thanking Him. Wowzie. You are inspiring me to write a post titled "I Want To Be The 10% Minority". (will totally thank you for inspiring me in that post of course...LOL!)

As we do "as unto the Lord" and without letting our right hand know what our left hand is doing (and vice versa), truly He rewards us in the private places of our hearts. I love that.

Great post, sister!

Kurt Keys said...

My ROAKs are meant to make the recipient say "Thank you, God"

Kelly Combs said...

Amen, Kurt! You have it right!

Kelly Combs said...

I can't wait to read it Sharon.

Allen J Emma said...

A good reminder to check my motives. Sometimes it's a challenge not just to do the right thing, but to do it with the right heart. Thanks.

Kari Scare said...

My youngest son's teacher had all the kids perform random acts of kindness in February and then talk about them in class. He certainly stepped up his game when given this goal. But how can RAKs become a part of who he is? I guess by my example.

Also, the Bible (Matthew 6:1) does say that if we receive our reward on earth, who are we to think we'll receive one in Heaven? This is motivation for me to not receive recognition now for any good I do.

Kelly Combs said...

Exactly right Kari. I want to receive a heavenly reward.