Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
December 30, 2017
Thirty years ago, Traci’s family had no money for a Christmas tree. So she and her sister dug under couch cushions and scrounged up less than a dollar to go buy a tree at a local lot. When the owner, a retired police officer named Jug, heard their story, he didn’t hesitate to give them the biggest and best tree he had—no charge. She’s never forgotten his act of kindness.
David Hamilton, a former organic chemist from Scotland, believes we are wired to be kind. He lectures and teaches others how kindness physiological is good for your body. He explains how being kind actually softens the walls of your arteries, making blood flow easier and lowering stress levels. And your acts of kindness don’t need to be grand. Even small gestures like smiling at others can impact your health and the health of others.1
We are more than genetically wired to be kind; it’s the way God intended us to be. The universe is built on the principle of unselfish service and giving to others. This week’s Sabbath School lesson focuses “Christian Living” and highlights the importance of loving others. Paul writes to the church at Rome, “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification” (Romans 15:2, NKJV).
In a church threatened with a major rift, Paul appeals to members to not focus on their own rights, their own practices, or their own needs. He challenges the Romans to be flexible, to not be judgmental, and to go out of your way to avoid being a stumbling block to others in the church. It seems like small stuff, but it’s the essence of true living.
Just ask Traci. She still remembers Jug’s act of kindness after all these years. He’s long gone but she still visits his grave and even meets with Jug’s children to express her thanks for the loving act show to her by their dad so many years ago.
Let’s not forget heaven’s loving-kindness toward us during this season of joy when Christ didn’t hesitate to give us the biggest and best. Jesus didn’t give us a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, but willing died on a tree that was decorated with His own body. He gave the single largest act of kindness to the entire human race so that each of us may receive eternal life.
When we truly live by the gospel as outlined in Paul’s letter to the Romans, we will also respond in praise “to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen” (Romans 16:27). Kindness doesn’t come from within—it comes from above.