Have Courage and Be Kind

For ye have the poor always with you…” Matthew 26:11 KJV

A lot of people use this scripture as an excuse not to give. Those are the exact words of Jesus Christ so they’re not a portion of the Bible that can be so easily ignored but it seems they’re often very easily misused.

Its Christmas time again, in fact, Christmas is tomorrow. So that means I’m going to talk to you all about giving but not in the way that you think. It’s no surprise that Christians are supposed to be giving people, our faith is based on giving. Jesus gave His life for us. God gives us blessings, strength, faith, healing. Giving is in our very beings. But just who are we supposed to be giving to?

If the poor are always with us then what’s the point in giving to them? Aren’t we just wasting our time?

Not at all. You shouldn’t give with the intentions of making people rich, you should give with the intentions of that act leading that person to Christ. Sometimes a simple gesture will be the thing that leads someone to give their life to Christ. You’d be surprised. It doesn’t always take a miracle healing, or an angel making an appearance. Sometimes kindness and courage is all it takes. The courage to be kind to others, in front of others, my friends, that is an act of God.

But the poor aren’t always the ones in need. What else can we give? Who else can we give to?

Each other.

Give a prayer, give a good morning. Give a compliment, give praise to God. There are more things to give than money or supplies. Sometimes a simple smile thrown at a stranger in passing can change your entire mood and theirs too.

I learned a very important lesson from an unexpected place while I was on vacation with my family. It was weird because I learned it from a movie that I’d seen before but when I watched it that second time with my family, sitting in a foreign country where I didn’t know the language and honestly felt quite lost and out of place, I realized that the simple words of that movie were more powerful than probably the writer or director even realized.

The movie was Disney’s Cinderella, in which the main character [Cinderella] faced many hardships from her family members—people she trusted. But she always found a way to get through it. How? She would always say, have courage and be kind.

I remember complaining to my sister how annoying it was that kindness solved every problem in that movie. Like life would just magically get better if you’re kind…but isn’t that how our faith works? We may get angry and we may be justified in our anger at times but kindness is one of the most powerful weapons we can attain. Why? Because it’s something that can’t be beaten.

When you are kind you can find a peace of mind, when you are kind you can find the light in the dark places, when you are kind you can encourage yourself and others, when you are kind you can keep holding on, when you are kind you find favor with God. When did God ever bless the wicked?

Why have courage? Because it takes courage to be kind. You think it was easy for Jesus to get on the Cross? You think a coward could have kept going while people spat on him? Hit him? Beat him? Shouted obscenities at him? I certainly wouldn’t have been a kind person at that point.

Do you have the courage to be kind to someone, even when they’ve been nothing but rude to you? Do you have the courage to smile at an insult? I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve got the courage to easily form a frown at the sound of an insult and probably retort something just as nasty. But that’s easy, isn’t it? It’s easy to sink to someone’s level, it’s the elevation that gets us. So I challenge you, and everyone who will read this, have courage and be kind.

This Christmas give the gift of kindness. Give a smile, give a hug, give an extra serving of delicious mashed potatoes and gravy—my favorite. If nothing else, give Jesus a much deserved Happy Birthday.

God bless you all.