Day 1: The Golden Corral (Being Kind)
Mike Breaux, years ago, was at lunch at a restaurant that had buffet lines. One of those all-you-can-eat restaurants. As he was eating, a girl came out with a five-gallon bucket of Ranch dressing. She was coming out of the kitchen to fill up the salad bar but her heel got caught and she ended up launching the five-gallon container of Ranch dressing all over this guy who was sitting there eating.
The poor guy was just dripping with salad dressing from the top of his head to the bottom of his shoes. It was obvious to everyone in the restaurant that she didn’t intentionally pour salad dressing all over this guy. It was an accident and she was apologizing all over herself when the man got up from the table and started to go ballistic.
He called that poor girl every name in the book. He said, “I can’t believe how stupid you are. Look at this. This is the first chance I have had to wear this suit. It cost me $350 and now it is ruined.”
The teenage girl said, “Oh sir, I’m so sorry,” and she is trying to clean him up. He yells at her and says, “Get away from me! You have caused enough damage already.” Then his wife chimes in…”that’s right…it’s a $350 suit and blah blah blah."
Everyone in the whole restaurant was watching the whole scene. The man shouted, “I want to see the manager.” The manager came out and said, “Is there a problem?” Not a very good question for the situation. He said, “Yes there is a problem. This stupid girl has ruined my suit. It is the first time I have gotten a chance to wear it, and it cost me $350.
The manager said, “Sir, we will have your suit cleaned for you. We’ll take care of that.” He says, “I don’t want my suit cleaned. I want a new suit. I want a check right now for $350.”
The manager disappeared with the guy behind him. I don’t know what happened but I imagine he wrote him a check for $350.
The interesting part of this story is that it happened on a Sunday afternoon. Now why in the world would a guy be wearing a suit on a Sunday afternoon? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe he just came from church after hearing a sermon on loving your neighbor as yourself.
People who work in the foodservice industry will tell you the worst people to wait on are the people who just got out of church on Sunday morning. That is tragic.
We live in a world where people are rude, harsh, cruel, and just plain mean and self-centered.
Years ago we had a worship pastor named James Chavez. His brother-in-law was on a plane to Vegas. During the flight, he began to have a terrible headache. Once he and his wife landed he headed for the restroom. It was there in the men’s bathroom that a tangled web of veins in his brain began to burst causing him to fall on the floor immediately paralyzing the left side of his body. As he lay there having seizure after seizure, throwing up violently, dozens of people came into that bathroom and left without even lifting a finger to help him.
For 40 minutes he laid there. His wife had asked two men to go inside the bathroom to check on him, but they exited out another door and never returned to tell the wife what was going on. Finally, his wife couldn’t take the wait any longer and she entered the bathroom to find him in that condition.
What is wrong with people today is that they wouldn’t even pick up their cell phones and dial three numbers to help a person in need. Kindness and goodness are lacking in our society today, and as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be the kindest and most servant-oriented people the world has ever seen. We are to reflect the kindness of Christ in every conversation that we have, and in every act of service because of the kindness and the goodness that God has shown us.
How do we reflect the kindness of God to others? This week, we are going to look at how to do that. To get your mind percolating on the kindness of Jesus, make sure you do the Time Out section today.
One of the amazing things about Jesus is how kind he was to others. When a woman was found in the very act of adultery, Jesus did not condemn her but forgave her and told her to leave her life of sin behind. He was kind. When Jesus had a conversation with a woman who was drawing water from a well in the mid-afternoon sun, the woman was rude and unpleasant to Jesus but he responded to her with kindness. She had been married five times and was currently living with a man. Instead of judging her, Jesus was kind to her and gave her a glimpse of the potential that he saw in her. And as a result of the kindness of Christ, she was never the same.
Look up Mark 1:40-42 and read another story about the kindness of Jesus and answer the questions below.
Leprosy was a highly contagious disease. When a person was diagnosed with leprosy they were banished from society and forced to live in a leper colony. If a leper came into someone’s house, the home itself was said to be defiled and must be torn down. If a leper was seen on a public street, it was permissible to pelt the person with eggs or even stones.
What did Jesus do for the man?
What else did Jesus do for him?
Imagine the thought of never being touched again. Never to feel the hug of your children; never to feel the embrace of your spouse, to never again feel your Father’s arm draped across your shoulder. Jesus does the unthinkable. He touches the leper before he heals him. He touched the leper while he was still unclean. He didn’t need to do that but he was kind.
On a scale of 1-10, how kind are you?
Who do you find it the most difficult to be kind to?
How could you show the kindness that Jesus shows to them this week?
"Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32
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