The translation of an ancient word for kindness means useful goodness.
The ancient Greeks and Romans had a word chréstotés for slaves who went beyond being good. Slaves who went the extra mile to serve others with useful goodness.
Jennifer tells the story of a man in India who, for 18 years, took a hand pick and shovel to dig a path through the mountains. His wife had died suddenly because it took too long to get medical attention. 18 years of useful goodness made it possible to get medical help in less time.
Being mindful of the ways people in our lives demonstrate useful goodness is step one.
When I witness the rarity of humans expressing intentional gratitude when they are recipients of useful goodness, it leads me to think of my missed opportunities to acknowledge useful goodness.
Today at lunch, a busboy raced out of his way to bring extra bread to our table. Jennifer said, “Dad, did you notice you did not say thank you?”
Thankfully, at that moment Jennifer was iron in my life (Proverbs 27:17). Before departing, a thank you was delivered and received well.
The amazing reward in being a person of kindness – useful goodness is when the giver nearly always gets more than the getter.
The realization of the benefits of living useful goodness is not nearly enough. The joy and delight is reserved for those of us who practice useful goodness until it becomes the natural fabric of our daily lives.
Clearly, it is still necessary for me to be intentional; to set goals to act with the intent to be kind in such a way it provides useful goodness.
What will you do with today’s WORDS OF HOPE? The reward is waiting for the one who lives useful goodness.
Step two is action!