Give generously to your needy brother and do so without a grudging heart. Deuteronomy 15:10 (NIV)
If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward. Matthew 10:42 (NIV)
Imagine you have a daughter in college. She’s far from home, just getting her bearings around campus and around town. She hasn’t connected with any other students, isn’t interested in a sorority or other extra-curricular group. She’s not being very communicative with you, and what little you hear betrays a degree of depression that makes you want to get in the car to go see her yourself.
Then you hear that a good friend was passing through the college town on a business trip and made a point of looking up your daughter. She took her to lunch, spent some time with her, and shared an idea about making a friend. And the idea seems to have caught on. You are greatly relieved, hopeful for your daughter, and deeply thankful to your friend.
This is the picture of God’s heart when one person gives another a heart-felt gift of compassion. Our acts of kindness do not go unnoticed. When we refresh the souls of others, God notices. When we help the needy God is pleased.
To do this without a grudging heart may be more difficult than we imagine. It’s too easy to keep score, and somehow expect a return of some sort of another. But we can do good, keeping in mind that the true pay-off is the blessing we give, and the difference we make in the lives of others.
Perhaps knowing that God is pleased with our acts of mercy will help. Remembering, however, that the first act of mercy was God’s move toward us through his Son. He rescued us from a fate worse than any worldly distress – and in many ways also from worldly troubles by moving others to come to our aid. God’s love is the primary inspiration for any act of kindness to others. He is pleased whenever we reflect that love to one another.