Intentional Acts of Kindness

Intentional Acts of Kindness

by Katrina Goodrich

 

Evangelism. Not many words strike fear into the hearts of Christians quite like this one. The stigma attached, especially in today’s society, is not all that favorable.

We talk about evangelism and how we need to do it. We take seminars that teach the 24 different approaches to sharing the Gospel in an attempt to demystify evangelism and find the best way for us to personally share our faith.

There isn’t anything inherently wrong with talking about evangelism or going through a course to learn about presenting the Gospel to others. But when you’ve done those things, what happens? Maybe you get “on fire” for a while, but most of the time it wears off. Why is that?

I think we often make the mistake of putting evangelism in a box, relegating it to a certain time at certain points in our lives. When we do that, it becomes easy to forget that evangelism isn’t just talking about Jesus; it’s about following in his footsteps.

Look at what Jesus did. Yes, he preached, but most of the time he used parables, stories relating to the general public for easy consumption. And most of the time he didn’t preach—he healed, met the needs of people and then invited them to follow him. He talked about himself and what he meant, but most of the time that was confined to the disciples, people who already knew him (John 14, Matthew 13, etc.)

So maybe we don’t have to memorize all 24 perfect presentations of the Gospel in order to be perfectly prepared to present the Gospel in any situation. Perhaps there is a better way than talking.

People today tend to hear the name of Jesus and be instantly turned off by preconceived notions about who Jesus is and probably by some poor experiences with Christians. We are so afraid of evangelism because people are turned off by religious Christianity. The reality is that I could probably talk to someone till I’m blue in the face, but where is the evidence that I’m sincere?

I feel as though evangelism sometimes comes off as an infomercial; trying to sell people something that will improve their lives. How many people trust infomercials? We don’t need to sell the Gospel, it sells itself—oftentimes by the evidence of its work in our lives.

Recently, my sister had the opportunity to participate in performing random acts of kindness in honor of a loved one who had passed on. The family and my sister spent the day handing out bracelets, brownies, little pumpkins, and smiles in an effort to commemorate the person.

I’m sure people were curious about what was going on and why they were doing these things. They didn’t have to drum up interest. Isn’t this is every evangelist’s dream?

So what if we took random acts of kindness and applied them to evangelism? What if Christians just ran around doing nice things for people without expecting anything in return? What if, in order to commemorate the most important person who ever lived, we went around doing good, following Jesus’ own example?

’Tis the season we celebrate the birth of the greatest gift this world has ever known: Jesus. This is a perfect time to begin intentional acts of kindness.

Be the evidence of Christ. Go through your day looking for ways to do something kind for people you come into contact with. It doesn’t need to be big or planned. All you have to do is keep your eyes open and pay attention to your surroundings, looking for opportunities.

If they ask why, simply tell them you’re doing your best to honor the life of a very important person in your life: Jesus. At this point if they have more questions, those 24 different ways to present the Gospel might come in handy.

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