“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (I Peter 4:8, ESV)
I recently read a statement that said, “As you move about this world, be more than just another passing face — be a source of grace” (author unknown). It reminded me that each of us can make a difference in our world just by showing kindness to those we encounter throughout our day. Kindness costs no money, but it has the power to brighten someone’s day in ways we may never realize.
Today is Valentine’s Day, a day that brings thoughts of romantic love, candy, and flowers. Although not celebrated everywhere around the world, some form of the holiday is celebrated in many places. Not part of a couple? That’s okay. Not everyone is. A new celebration has evolved called Galentine’s Day, a fun way to celebrate our gal pals, those sister-like friendships many of us enjoy.
What if today we reach out not just to gal pals but to those we meet as we go about our day? Can we become that “source of grace” so many need in their lives?
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (I Thessalonians 5:11, ESV)
When we do acts of kindness for our friends, we often know the things that will bring a smile and make them happy. I am a lover of dark chocolate, and my friends know that. One friend would always sort through her bags of mini chocolate bars and save all the dark chocolate ones for me. A simple act, yes, but one that made me realize she valued me as a friend.
As you think about your special friendships, what acts of kindness can you do? Remember, it doesn’t have to be something that costs money, just something that will bring them joy.
Don’t limit this to just friends. Reach out to neighbors, coworkers, and even complete strangers. Someone may need a little love today, so here are a few simple suggestions.
- Write a thank you note to someone who has inspired you or blessed you in some way.
- Call or visit a shut-in or a senior who has no family nearby. (A small gift would be nice on this one.)
- Send someone a text message just to let them know you appreciate their friendship.
- Send your pastor’s wife a text or note to say you are praying for her and her family today.
- Buy a stranger a cup of coffee when you make your morning coffee stop.
- Take heart-shaped cookies or cupcakes with sprinkles on top to your workplace to share with coworkers.
- Buy a gift card to hand to someone on your way out of the coffee shop.
These things are absolutely free but are definitely day brighteners!
- Let someone go ahead of you in line.
- Smile at everyone you meet.
- Return someone’s grocery cart for them.
- Praise someone for a job well done.
- Compliment a parent on their child’s good behavior.
- Allow someone to merge in traffic.
We live in a busy, hurry-scurry (and often rude) world. It feels good to slow down and share a little love. Your one small act may be just the encouragement someone needs to get through a really tough time. It will show them that they are not alone and that caring people do still exist. God showed us what it means to love. Now let’s share that love with others—Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or any other day of the year.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34, ESV)
Lord, open my eyes to those around me who may feel alone, discouraged, or depressed. Help me to brighten their day with a word of encouragement, a smile, or a simple “well done.” Help me to love others as You have loved me.