Deliberate Acts of Kindness

“How may I help you?”

“What can I do for you?”

We hear these words casually spoken multiple times a day. We say them ourselves expecting only certain types of polite, scripted answers. They have become background noise in the fabric of our lives, phrases without any real meaning.

In the second book of Samuel we find the account of David beginning with him replacing Saul as king over Israel. His close friend, the king’s son Jonathon was also dead. (You can find David’s heartbroken lament for his fallen friend in 2 Samuel 1:17 – 27.) We read how David secured the kingdom. He had fought many battles and won. His own family grew and prospered and he had much wealth. Grateful to God for all he had accomplished, David brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem and began to gather the materials to build a magnificent temple to house it in. He was continuously composing many works of poetry and songs to the glory of God many of them we can find today in the book of Psalms. David lived a full and busy life. Yet in the midst of David’s full vibrant life, there was one more thing he wanted to do. He went looking for someone to whom he could show kindness.

Kindness is defined as showing consideration and caring, being sympathetic and compassionate. The Hebrew word for kindness used also has connotations of mercy within it which holds the meaning easing of distress or pain. David went looking for someone to whom he could be sympathetic and compassionate. He went looking someone to whom he could show mercy and ease their distress. He didn’t wait until they came looking for him.

Understand that David wasn’t required to do this. He was the king. He was already taking care of his people as a good king should. He was considered one of the best kings in Israel (despite his personal failings we know of now). Because he was king, David surely had a continuous stream of people who came to him asking for his help. He didn’t have to search out someone to be kind to, they came to him. But because of kindness extended to him by this friend, David went looking for someone that he might show God’s kindness to for his friend’s sake.

David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” - 2 Samuel 9:1

He asked not once, but twice.

The king asked,“Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?" - 2 Samuel 9:3

David was determined to do this. Determined to find someone to show God’s kindness to out of love for his friend. Someone who hadn’t come to him for help, someone who was terrified to even ask. Overwhelmed with love for his friend, David reached out to show mercy to another in a deliberate act of kindness. To be deliberate means to consider something carefully and to do it intentionally. David considered carefully about showing kindness to someone, he moved to do it intentionally and didn’t stop until he did.

Has there been anyone in your life that has shown you such love, such kindness? Anyone to whom on their behalf or in their memory you can show mercy of that kindness in their name? In this New Year, are you willing to make a deliberate attempt to search out someone to whom you can show God’s kindness, someone who you are determined to keep looking for until you find them? Someone to whom you can continuously show kindness? If not, will you endeavor to be that person in someone else’s life?

At the beginning of this New Year, let’s be determined to be like David. Let’s reach out to deliberately show God’s kindness to someone else. The people are out there who need it, much closer than you think. Let’s out of the love of God which was shown to us, show love on His behalf. Let’s make 2012 a year of deliberate acts of kindness.