Random acts of kindness: a calendar
As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12)
Last year two of our blogs looked at loving our neighbours. This month we look at what acts of kindness we can do for others in our day-to-day lives, even in these difficult times. Some are simple, others are more involved, but ultimately we should do our best with what we’ve got: Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people (Galatians 6:10).
January can be a long, dark month and there are plenty of people who would appreciate some brightness. Here are our ideas of acts of kindness to try during the first half of this month – remember in all of these that God sees you, even if it feels like others do not.
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones (Proverbs 16:24)
On a day of resolutions, why not resolve to contact an elderly neighbour on a regular basis, perhaps by calling them or writing a letter?
As January stretches ahead of us, write your favourite Bible verse or positive quote on a card. When you buy a takeout coffee or go through a self-checkout leave it for the next person to find. You could even do this in your house by leaving a message on someone’s desk if they are working from home!
2020 was a difficult year for many businesses, especially smaller ones. Today, instead of buying food or a coffee from a large chain or supermarket, choose to support your local independent businesses instead.
Do you know a school pupil who has passed a test, or someone who has recently completed a unit of a course? Send them a message to say congratulations on their achievement, especially if others are not aware of it. This doesn’t have to be academic; it could be conducting a presentation at work or being brave at the doctor’s!
Give kind comments to as many people as possible today. Perhaps you like the jumper your local shopkeeper is wearing, or something a friend has shared on social media…. Let them know!
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you (Matthew 7:12)
When was the last time another person did something kind for you? Perhaps helping you with shopping, providing a listening ear, or simply holding a door open for you? Find an opportunity to say thank you to them!
If you go shopping today, buy an extra item and donate it to a local food bank, helping those in need in Edinburgh. Edinburgh City Mission at Granton Baptist is our local Basics Bank, and there are others around the city that also require donations.
Get outside! Whether you are picking up litter or putting out bird food, do something kind for nature. Even if the weather isn’t great, think of how you can reduce, reuse and recycle within your home.
Contact a friend and arrange to meet up with them, perhaps for a walk or a takeout coffee. Make the most of your time together by switching off digitally and giving them your full attention.
William Arthur Ward said, “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness”. So today, see how many people you can smile at as you walk down the street, or in a queue at traffic lights!
Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
The pandemic is a difficult time, including for the younger members of our society who have faced many changes over the past year. If you have a young neighbour, plan a craft pack to put through their letterbox, perhaps with card, pompoms, crayons, and glitter glue inside!
We are very fortunate in the UK that we are able to publicly meet and display our faith. However, many Christians around the world are unable to do this and face severe persecution because of their faith. Today take a look at some of the Prisoner Profiles on the Release International website and read the prayer points for them, or even write a letter encouraging them. Charities working with persecuted Christians also include Open Doors and Barnabas Fund.
Do you know someone who is lonely or self-isolating? Find out what their favourite takeaway is and deliver it to them – it will cheer them up and also help support local businesses!
Share something that will make a friend smile. This could be a happy memory from past times together, an inspiring thought or something that made you laugh today.
On the next bin day, take out your neighbours’ bins and return them after they have been emptied. It will save them having to go out into the cold!
We hope you enjoy following these ideas. We’ll have more later in the month!