Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. (Prov. 3:27)

WE MAY NOT REALIZE IT, but simple acts of kindness have power. An act of goodness, kindness, or generosity has the potential to touch three people. The first is the recipient of the action. I became acutely aware of this during an illness. For several weeks, leaving home was difficult. During that time not a day went by that I did not receive a card, an e-mail, or telephone call of encouragement. It certainly helped me cope in a difficult time, but also heightened my awareness of the importance of showing kindness and encouragement to others.

The second participant who is always affected is the giver. Studies have shown that demonstrating kindness to others has healing power for the giver. It not only contributes to increased physical well-being, but also to emotional well-being.

The third participant can be an observer of the act of kindness. Someone who witnesses an act of generosity has a bit of God’s goodness imparted onto them also, and it may inspire them to do likewise.

From opening a door to someone on crutches to offering donations of food or clothing to giving a child a cup of water, opportunities for generosity are all around us. Generosity blesses the receiver, the giver, and the observer. It shines God’s light into the world. Christians have a mighty God-given resource in the power of generosity.

Ask God to move you to acts of generosity.

Cheryl A. Paden has been married for over thirty-seven years to Richard, and they have three wonderful sons and live in Fremont, Nebraska.