Backyard Kindness - A Family Devotional
Kindness is right, even when it's hard to be kind.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Jeremiah 31:3.
Verse of the Day: When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Heather wrestled her two lambs, Snowfall and Sunshine, into their pen in the backyard and then latched the gate. She was raising the two lambs as a 4-H project for the county fair in August. She took them for a walk every night to keep them healthy. She dusted off her hands and stomped toward the house. Her mom met her on the back porch. “Ooh!” Heather said. “That Snowfall!”
“What’s wrong?” Mom asked as they walked into the kitchen together.
“She’s so stubborn!” Heather said. She flopped onto a chair at the kitchen table. Mom sat down next to her. “When I turn her back toward the pen, she starts twisting her leash and trying to get away from me.”
“That’s a pretty smart little lamb,” Mom said.
“Huh?!” Heather responded. “Not really! If she were smart, she’d know she’s just gonna get hit.”
“Heather!” Mom scolded. “You hit her?”
“I had to, Mom! She’s so stubborn. I got frustrated with her. So, I swatted her.” “Honey, you know better. You shouldn’t be cruel to her. She’s one of God’s creatures. And more important, you’re one of God’s children.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” Heather asked.
“Honey, God wants us to become more and more like him. Because he’s kind, we should be kind too.”
“But what difference does it make? She’s just a lamb!”
“That’s not the point. Whether she’s a lamb or a puppy or a colt, the important thing is not what she’s like, but what you’re like. And when you act kindly toward animals or people you’re acting like God. You’re reflecting his nature.”
Heather’s form seemed to deflate slightly, like a balloon with a slow leak. “I’m kind to Sunshine,” she said weakly.
Mom smiled. “It’s easy to be kind to someone like Sunshine because she’s so sweet. But kindness is right, even when it’s hard, because kindness is like God.”
“OK,” Heather said softly. She jumped up and headed to the door. “Just one more question,” she said.
“What’s that?” Mom asked.
“How do you apologize to a lamb?”
TO DISCUSS: Why should a person show kindness? What are some ways you can show kindness?
TO PRAY: “Heavenly Father, when we show kindness, we’re acting like you. Help us show kindness this week.”