Is there such a thing as an act of kindness without expecting to receive anything in return? Are such acts not always done with a selfish motivation attached, like fame, praise, or some sort of return from the one you showed this “kindness” to?
Is it possible that one could truly serve with no strings attached?
The answer is no, it’s not possible… BUT GOD.
This Sunday, my Sunday school teacher taught about this as he unpacked 2 Samuel 9:1-13. In this story, David acts upon his covenant with Jonathan to treat the members of his household with kindness. If you remember, years ago from this point when Saul attempted many times to kill David and even had him on the run, Jonathan saved his life and provided a way for his escape. In doing so, Jonathan lost all possibilities of ruling his father’s kingdom in the future.
After Jonathan’s death, David seeks out Jonathan’s crippled son, Mephibosheth, who could do absolutely nothing for himself, and shows immeasurable kindness to him. He even invites him to dine daily at his table in the king’s very own presence. Imagine that!
Because of Jonathan selfless friendship, David reaches out in kindness to his son, expecting nothing in return. Although Mephibosheth could do nothing for himself because of his disability, he was given adequate food, but most surprisingly, he was invited to join the king at his table daily. Not only was he provided for, he was given a renewed purpose and could spend the rest of his days simply enjoying being in the very presence of his king.
In the same way, God has saved our lives when we could do absolutely nothing for ourselves. In fact, we were utterly dead and with no hope. Like Mephibosheth, we were spiritually crippled. We could only love in our own crooked ways and with selfish motivation.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5). Now that we are made alive in Christ, it is possible to serve out of love for our Savior! Not only is it possible, but it is our joy to do so. Like David, we can now reach out in kindness and share the love of the One who saved us.
We can also now approach the throne of our holy God with boldness and confidence (Hebrews 4:16), and ever dwell in His presence. Even though we were inadequate, we were made adequate when we were sprinkled with the righteous blood of Jesus. We are now free to dine at his table daily!
Because of God’s great love for you, proclaim it boldly. Don’t be afraid to share the love of God to others, even if you think they seem inadequate, or because of your own fear of man.
I often struggle with fearing man, and I know that so many others can say the same. I fear that I will be looked down upon, snickered at, made fun of, or gossiped about. But I am still in the process of learning that this doesn’t matter! The Holy Spirit will give us the strength to witness and serve, even when doing so seems like stupidity to others.
Don’t be consumed with what others think of you, because by sharing kindness, others will witness the light of Christ shining through you. If you’re not serving for personal gain, then why are you doing it? By loving others without expecting reward, you are not only glorifying the Lord, but you can potentially plant Gospel seeds in their hearts that could eventually take root.
Don’t underestimate the power of the Gospel in your everyday life. Even simple acts of service can be used for God’s glory. This may be the very thing it takes to lead them to the river of true joy found in Christ Jesus alone, whose blood-bought righteousness purges us from our iniquities. Praise the Lord for His saving grace!
2 Replies to “Kindness without Reward”
Awesome article Kyla! I love the story of David and Jonathan – such a friendship is hard to rival!
I love how you mentioned that Jesus’ sacrifice for us and the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us empowers us to love other selflessly. I’m so glad we aren’t required to love others on just our own strength (because I would fail miserably!).
Agreed! I’m just so thankful for the Holy Spirit! Thanks for reading!