- *Discussion* In a study of 37 cultures around the world, sixteen thousand subjects were asked about their most desired traits in a mate. For both sexes, the first preference was kindness (the second was intelligence). Why is that kindness is comes in first?
- *Discussion* Nice people genuinely care about others—other people’s feelings, concerns, and interests register daily on their radar range.
- *Discussion* The truly kind among us are nice to everyone they encounter “simply for the sake of kindness”, without expectation of payoff.
- *Discussion* From acts as simple as smiling at a customer to improve a mood, choosing to collaborate with a competitor, and holding the door open for a companion, the nice person is not playing the “tit-for tat” game in anticipation of payback or benefits.
- *Discussion* What does this mean “simply for the sake of kindness”? Can you tell the difference between kindnesses for the sake of kindness vs. kindness to gain something?
Main Points (Choose ONE)
- What is your motivation for your act of kindness? Are you expecting something in return, or do you truly understand the need to help w/o repayment?
- It’s easy to help those we love or those who are popular and well-liked. It takes character to step up and out and help the “unlovely”.
1. Mark: 2-1-5
1A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5When Jesus saw their faith; he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven
1. This guy’s friends showed kindness without expecting anything in return. They acted out of true kindness and love
* Paralytic had nothing to offer in return to his friends.
Have you ever helped a friend with something or in some way you knew they could not repay you before you helped?
Have you ever had a family member or a friend that required extra help like this?
*There was a good chance that at this time the paralytic did not have a job to offer his friends money for helping him reach Jesus
* Have you ever helped a friend or a stranger that could not pay you for your time while you could have been working somewhere else?
*His friends had sacrificed their time to take their paralytic friend and take him to the meeting instead of working or spending time with other friends and family.
The friends premeditated this act of kindness for their friend knowing that he could not give anything back.
* Have you ever premeditated in advance to do an act of kindness to someone that did not have anything to offer you back?
* These friends gave of their time, energy and strength without pay or expectation
* The friends could had been working and making money instead of climbing on a roof and tearing a hole in it to get their friend in
* The friends put their paralytic friend before themselves this day. They could had came early to the meeting and not had to climb to the roof and see Jesus from the roof.
2. 2 Samuel 9
[Background: Jonathan and David were very close friends for a long time, but Jonathan had died some time ago. Most of the family was killed or fled, but it turns out that Jonathan left a son.]
1 David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They called him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”
“Your servant,” he replied. 3 The king asked, “Is there no one still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?”
Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet.” 4 “Where is he?” the king asked.
Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.” 5 So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel. 6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.
David said, “Mephibosheth!”
“Your servant,” he replied. 7 “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.” 8 Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?” 9 Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.) 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth.
1. Mephibosheth really had nothing to offer David for his kindness, and David knew it.
* He was crippled, which meant (in that society) that he had nothing to contribute
Backstory: When Saul and Jonathan (the former king and prince) were killed in battle, everybody in the palace fled—including Ziba, Mephibosheth’s caretaker. Since Mephibosheth was too young to walk, Ziba carried him. Unfortunately, Ziba tripped; and Mephibosheth was permanently paralyzed from the fall.
Politically speaking, Mephibosheth was a threat to David. Jonathan was the former prince of Israel; David was the current king. Mephibosheth was a descendant of the former royal line. If somebody wanted to challenge David’s authority, Mephibosheth would make an ideal figurehead for a political coup. David was taking someone who had no political ambitions (Mephibosheth) and placing him in the palace itself, where ambitious people had access to him and could build up his expectations. So not only did Mephibosheth have nothing to offer David, but there was also the risk that he was dangerous to David.
iii. Application points
1. Have you ever been shown kindness like Mephibosheth was or know of someone that has? How did it make you feel?
Have you ever shown kindness to someone just because you had a mutual friend?
* David looked for the opportunity to show love and kindness to someone.
* Mephibosheth wasn’t complaining about being neglected He was satisfied with being ignored—perhaps because he knew that he represented some sort of threat to the current king. David didn’t have any obligation to dig into the past or to ask about Jonathan’s relatives. David’s friendship was with Jonathan, not Mephibosheth. (As far as anybody seemed to know, Jonathan’s family was all dead or gone.)
* The convenient thing to do was just to ask no questions.
2. Are we doing the same every day?
3. How can we do something like this on the campus?
1. Often times we are slow to help someone if they are a stranger or you don’t think you will ever see them again
2. Many times we see our kindness as a transaction. If there’s no possible benefit for us, we ignore the need.
3. Some of us struggle with “diffusion of responsibility” when it come to kindness. We think it’s someone responsibility, and not ours, show kindness
1. Think about how you can show kindness without expectation at the following times or to the following people:
a. Last Call and Free Food Friday by helping set up tables
b. Neighbors across the hall/next door by visiting them while they are sick
c. Taking International students to Wal-Mart
2. Showing kindness without expecting something can be done almost anywhere on campus.
3. Look for opportunities in our everyday actions to show kindness without expectation.