Dose of Truth

The power of kindness

Tim Richards

Most of us put a great deal of time and energy into preparing for Christmas. While New Year’s Day is seven days after Christmas, that holiday is not a date most of us spend months preparing to celebrate.

You may be surprised to learn that 38.5% of U. S. adults make New Year’s resolutions annually. Surprisingly, 59% of young Americans, ages 18-34, make at least a resolution while those who are over 55 are three times less likely to make one. Those with children are 1.5 times more likely to resolve to change something than their non-parent peers. (as reported by insideoutmastery.com)

Research shows that those who make one resolution are more likely to keep it than those who set multiple goals. I do not want to discourage anyone from making a resolution to eat better, exercise frequently, talk to God more, or read their Bible regularly, these are worthwhile resolutions. However, if you are not planning to make a resolution, allow me to suggest one.

Why not make a commitment to look for opportunities to be more kind in 2023? In the June 1, 2022, Our Daily Bread devotional, Kirsten Holmberg wrote about Glen, a man who buys coffee each morning at a drive-through near his home and every day pays for the coffee of the customer behind him. He even asks the cashier to wish the person a good day.

Glen does not know the person behind him, in fact he has no way of knowing what their response will be. When asked why he practices this kind act of generosity he says it is “the least he can do.” He never knows whether what he is doing will be taken for granted, whether it will encourage the recipient to be more kind, or maybe even save their life.

He learned the power of his kindness when he read an anonymous letter to the editor in his local newspaper. The writer was the unknown person Glen had purchased a cup of coffee for on July 18, 2017. The individual wrote that the unexpected gift made them reconsider their plan to end their life later that day.

The wise King Solomon spoke of making an impact when he wrote, “Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10, NLT) Solomon’s point is that we are to do good and be kind while we can.

We never know how God may use our kindness to change someone’s life. Glen may never know the details, but hundreds of people have been touched by his generosity. If Glen’s story also inspires us to be kind and generous, then the impact is far greater than he could have ever imagined. You and I never know how much a small act of kindness may forever change someone’s life.

As a pastor and columnist for nearly 15 newspapers, Tim Richards has lifted the spirits and challenged the hearts of those who have strong faith as well as those whose faith is weak. In his third book, “Sailing Through the Storm,” readers will again discover new ways to live with godly perspective in a world that increasingly seems to have lost its way.

Tim Richards

has been a pastor for 37 years, serving five churches, including his current church, The Refuge in St. Louis, which he founded. He and the congregation minister to those who are hurting and do their part to expand God’s kingdom. Tim and his wife Kelly have five children. “A Dose of Truth” which he has written for more than 25 years appears in 13 newspapers. His book, “Thriving in the Storm: Discovering God’s Peace and Perspective in Turbulent Times,” is available from Amazon. Feel free to contact him at iamtimrichards@yahoo.com. Photography is another of his skills. Pastor Tim’s photos may be viewed at https://flickr.com/photos/pentaxpastor.

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