Have you ever been in a situation where you were surrounded by incredible, selfless individuals? People who seem to be involved in every noble cause to be heard of: serving those in struggling communities, building an orphanage in Africa, saving the tigers in Asia etcetera, etcetera.
Have you ever thought, 'how could any small act of my own self-sacrifice compare to all this?' I have definitely experienced this sense of insignificance within a church situation and in other aspects of life when I feel like I don't measure up.
Making a difference in the world doesn't have to be about the big acts of self-sacrifice or grand gestures all the timeâthe little things do count in acts of kindness. I know, you've heard it before, but have you ever actually taken the time to consider the effects of the little things?
Small offers of kindness and service often don't receive the praise or attention they deserve. Our generosity or our worth as Christians should not be devalued just because we are not in the position to serve the starving children of Africa.
Making the little things count
I used to write daily entries into an app called Gratitude! Each day I wrote 5 things I was grateful for. I would then rate my day out of 5 stars. Looking back to the month of January, I noticed on one day I rated 5 stars, my first point was $3 a stranger had given me for my parking ticket when I was $3 short and only had cash. Although the rest of my day didn't have much to be grateful for, this small act of kindness had turned my day around.
Think back to when a stranger has smiled at you and shown genuine interest in your day, when someone cheerfully made the effort to help and support you, or paid for your morning coffee. How did it make you feel? Did it change your outlook and how you interact with others, even if only for a day?
Imagine changing someone's outlook or attitude in this way everyday, and what it would mean to them. Going the extra length to help out others in what might seem to be trivial daily battles may be just the encouragement and motivation they need to battle larger issues they are facing in their lives.
Developing a habit searching for ways to entwine little acts of kindness and service into our daily lives has the potential to lead to greater opportunities. These small acts have the potential to form life-changing bonds and relationships with others, so you may help them through the larger battles they may be facing or in a Christian context, leading another to experience God's grace and love.
Searching for opportunities
Opportunities to express kindness and serve others are present everywhere, if only we search for them.
While I would love to travel to a disadvantaged country to help supply basic human needs, or spread the grace of God through countries with little sense of his awesome presence, I am aiming to start small in the circumstance before me.
For me this means showing more interest in the lives of those around me who I don't usually pay much attention to, offering my time to help others who are studying subjects I've already completed and being more generous in the resources I have (this generally being food, access to a car and study notes for students).
If you too are aching to reach out to others less fortunate than yourself but are not in the situation to travel to them, a world of difference can be made in showing kindness, service and compassion to those in your local community and in your daily life. Cashiers in the supermarket, colleagues, family, extended family, friends, strangers in the shopping centreâkindness is guaranteed to alter at least the attitude of these people. Not one person in this world is without problems and heartache, every human can benefit from being shown a 'little' kindness and compassion from time to time.
Kelly Bingham is a University student with a love of animals amongst other things and is studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. She lives on campus and loves to socialise and get with the other University students and the elders at her church near university and at home. In her free time she likes sewing, reading, running by the beach and taking photos for her own fashion blog.
Kelly Bingham's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/kelly-bingham.html