“David, my son—is that you?” Saul asked. Then he started crying and said: “David, you’re a better person than I am. You treated me with kindness, even though I’ve been cruel to you. You’ve told me how you were kind enough not to kill me when the Lord gave you the chance. If you really were my enemy, you wouldn’t have let me leave here alive. I pray that the Lord will give you a big reward for what you did today.” 1 Samuel 24:16-19
David and Saul had a thing going. Some would call it a rivalry, but David didn’t really hate Saul, he was just scared for his life because God wanted him to be king instead of Saul, and Saul didn’t like that one bit. To add to the problems, the people of Saul’s kingdom were siding with David, and David was well-known for his military prowess, as well as his solid relationship with God. When we meet our two main characters in 1 Samuel 24 David just had the opportunity to kill Saul but he didn’t.
It brings us to our topic of the month: kindness and the reward we get for being kind. Sometimes it’s easy to be kind, like to the mom with her arms full with a baby carrier struggling to open the door at the coffee shop. It’s not so easy when we’re asked to set aside a rivalry that we’ve had for years or even generations and forgive someone.
But that’s the power of kindness: it enables us and gives us the strength to be the bigger person. And, as we’ve seen here, the kind acts we do can even teach others about kindness and transform who they are. No, it doesn’t always work that way, nor was this the end of the interactions between David and Saul.
But it creates one of my favorite things: hope. Yes, when that kind of kindness is introduced anything is possible. It becomes possible to get out of your prison, it becomes possible to mend a relationship. It becomes possible to have an impact on your family, your community, your nation, your world. Maybe you won’t have the impact of Mother Teresa or Martin Luther King Jr, but that doesn’t mean that the kindnesses you do would go unnoticed.
God notices the kindnesses you do and will reward you for them. No, we shouldn’t do them to be rewarded, we should do them because it’s right. But the reward we will receive is like the ice cream with apple pie. It goes above and beyond the awesome feeling of being able to do something good for our fellow man.
This week I encourage you to do something good for someone else, maybe even someone else who can’t repay you for the kindness you’ve done. Of course, I’d love to hear all about the kind acts you do, share them in the comments so we can all celebrate together!