Did you know today is Random Acts of Kindness Day? Sure, it’s one of those made-up holidays, but unlike National Doughnut Day (June 5) or International Dog Day (August 26), this one can get us thinking.
As Christians, shouldn’t every day be Random Acts of Kindness Day? What would happen if we poured more focus into putting love into action?
Carrie Sinclair Wolcott explores what it means to love “in deed and in truth” in 1–3 John: Radical Hospitality, from the Not Your Average Bible Study series. The excerpt below shows you why the series is called that—and how living out the truths in 1 John lead to not-your-average Christian life.
The man sitting next to me on the bus mutters crazy things to himself. The mom yelling at her child in the front of the bus wears a painful story on her face. Two seats over, sitting near enough for me to smell, is someone for whom a shower must be a luxury. I need these people in my face, “in the light,” or I will forget them.
In a crowd of bad-smelling, unnerving neighbors like these, Jesus gave the two great commandments: love God and love your neighbor. And then Jesus—God in human form—showed us how to obey these inseparable commandments.
Acting in the light: 1 John 1–2
Jesus walked through the crowds of desperate people, into the sinner’s house, and right up to the Samaritan woman (John 4). He touched the sick, the broken and the shunned.
To the writer of 1 John, Jesus’ actions on earth matter. If we want to love, we must “walk just as [Jesus] walked” (1 John 2:6). Yet we struggle to make the connection between the people Jesus served and the people we are called to serve. The world is so enticingly full of “the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance of material possessions” that we grow blind to the people in the shadows (1 John 2:16).
Jesus covers our lack of love and brings us back into the light. We will examine what it means to “walk in the light as [Jesus] is in the light” (1 John 1:7). By imitating Jesus’ actions on earth, we can bring light to the outcasts in our communities and our world.
Put yourself out there
Pray for confidence, that your “knowing” of God lines up with your “practice” of God-inspired living (1 John 2:28–29).
Read the entire letter of 1 John aloud. . . . Let the rich language of darkness, sin, death, love, life, and light touch your physical senses through your imagination. As you read, notice the way the body, mind, and spirit are intertwined in 1 John. Write a list of these connections.
Our humanity and spirituality are wrapped up together. Jesus’ living in the flesh is as important as his being God. Likewise, the two great commandments are inseparable. They require us to fully engage. Do the “spiritual” and “physical” parts of your life need to become more deeply integrated? Are you walking in truth in your body, mind, and heart?
Ask God to show you ways that you can more deeply connect with God and others. Be intentional about spending time with people in great physical and spiritual need—the type of people Jesus served. Share yourself with those in need.
This post is adapted from 1–3 John: Radical Hospitality by Carrie Sinclair Wolcott. The headings and title of this post are the additions of the editor. The author’s views do not necessarily represent those of Faithlife.