Derek just got to the small stationery shop, he needed to buy a file for his portfolio. He needed to be sure that everything was in place for his job interview. He had picked a file and an envelope when he overheard a man who was just walking away from the counter
“I can’t believe my credit card is missing, I am late for the meeting and this note is very important to me”
Something in Derek was propelling him to show empathy, but Derek didn’t know how he could help, the man was on a simple T-shirt and jean trousers. As he got close to the exit door, Derek ran towards him
“Excuse me, Sir… Sorry, but I overheard you complain and you looked worried. Is there any problem and can I be of help?” He said
“Not really…” the man replied, “I am supposed to be in a quick meeting, my device is low on power, needed a small notepad but I just realized my credit card is missing.”
“Sorry about that Sir…” Derek continued “If you don’t mind Sir, can you give me the privilege of paying for the notepad? I have extra money on me.”
“That’s so kind of you and I can’t refuse it! Thank you so much!”
After one week, Derek had gone for his job interview but the taxi he secured got bad on the road which delayed him. The interview was registered to hold at 9 am but Derek got there at 10.12 am and as expected, he was turned down by the HR. He was on his way out when a young man approached him
He turned to see who was beckoning him, the face looked familiar but he couldn’t place his mind on anything.
“It is good to see you again,” the man told him “You remember me?”
“No” Derek forced a smile “But I am sure we’ve met somewhere.”
“You remember the man you helped last week at a stationary?”
“Oh! I remember now!”
“What are you doing here?” the man was looking into his eyes as though he was searching for answers “you look worried yourself today.”
“Well…” Derek hesitated for a while “I came for a job interview, it was supposed to hold at 9 am but because my taxi driver had issues with his car, I was late and the HR had revoked the appointment
“Hmm…” the man breathed hard “I am the CEO of this firm, she did her job but I can’t ignore that you were so kind to me. Can you follow me to my office let’s sort out a few things?”
That was how Derek got his job finally!
God intended human beings to be convivial and sensitive to care, to appreciate what they can see, feel or touch and at such, how we relate with people can circumscribe what we will get out of them. Although wiser people may not always base their perception on first impressions, the first impression is the biggest impression you can ever get to make. When you miss it the first time, there can always be a second time but certain people may not give you a benefit of doubt or let you have another shot.
The help we are asking God for is in the hands of men and whatever God does on earth, he uses men. If God uses men, it means we can access divine help by developing a good relationship with men. When you are praying and seeking an answer but you go ahead to treat others badly, you may find someone who has the answers you seek and chase them away from yourself because you lack kindness.
We can access divine help by the way we treat others. In the Bible (Genesis 18), we read the story of Abraham and the three strangers. These strangers didn’t necessarily look like Angels, God never told Abraham that he was sending certain people his way, God wanted Abraham to act out of his personal preference and when Abraham saw them walking under the hot sun, he beckoned on them to come in and stay with him for a while.
He didn’t just offer them shelter, he treated them with honour and served them food. Unknown to him, he was entertaining Angels! This way, Abraham got to know that they would be having a son in no time and he also got to know about the destruction of Sodom and interceded for Lot.
Again, we also read about the story of Rahab (Joshua 2). Rahab was a prostitute who accommodated Israeli spies and also helped them escape when the enemies came looking for them. That act of kindness didn’t only save Rahab, it saved her entire family and even got her into the list of great people of faith. Had Rahab treated them wrongly, they would have still probably escaped and Rahab would have destroyed her destiny and the purpose for which God has created her.
The Bible says in Hebrews 13:2 “Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”
We can substitute the word “Angels” for destiny helpers. Sometimes, our destiny helpers do not come in the shape that we expect, they don’t come with the aura that we had envisaged. Sometimes, they come looking inadequate. Nobody comes with “destiny helper” label on their forehead and this is why it is important to treat every stranger with honour because we never can tell.
Paul wrote in Galatians 6:10 NLT “Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”
Whenever we have the opportunity, we ought to be good to people. We ought to consciously build relationships knowing that men are the conduit through which God’s blessings can get to us.
The Bible says in the book of Proverbs 3:3-4 “Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favour with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.”
Finding favour with God is not the same as finding favour with man. Some people have found favour with God but they haven’t found favour with man, it is possible to be loved by God and be hated by good men, it is possible to find favour with God and find disfavour with the man and many times it all depends on us.
God watches the heart but men don’t respond to the heart but to what they can see, touch and feel. Men respond to good character, kindness and loyalty. Some folks think because they are loved by God, things will come easily regardless of how they treat men. No, we express our love for God by treating other persons with love. This is why you must never let kindness and loyalty depart from you, there should be an aura of love anywhere you enter, there should be an aura of kindness anywhere you are found.
Let me tell you what kindness does, it creates an atmosphere within you and you can enter anywhere with that atmosphere. It is like a charm! Even the wicked men on earth can be won over by an act of kindness. The Bible says we should tie it around our neck as a reminder and this means we should make every known effort to stay conscious of it. Good reputations are results of our kindness and integrity.
In the business world, a study has shown that as much as 80% of people who lose their jobs do not do so for lack of merit, based on skill but lack of favour with their boss, customers or co-workers. You will always be attractive to people when you have a kind heart towards them. When you find favour with men, it sets you apart and gives you a partial experience. Favour makes people get opportunities they undoubtedly may not have deserved.
The Bible says in Proverbs 16:6-7
“Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the LORD, people avoid evil. When people’s lives please the LORD, even their enemies are at peace with them. Better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest.”
We respect and reverence God when we love other people and show them kindness. This is why even our enemies stay at peace with us when we live a life pleasing to God. Those who live godly lives are honest and the Bible says it is better to be honest and have little than have much in dishonesty. If we love Jesus and obey his commandment of love, people will be favourably disposed to us.
Concerning Jesus, the Bible says in Luke 2:52 “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and all the people.” Although Jesus was God personified in human form, the humanity of Jesus grew not just in wisdom but also in favour. This means that you can grow in favour, you can get better at it. Even if you have not enjoyed favour so far, you can make up your mind and decide to consciously build an aura that attracts favour around you and you can do this by being teachable, kind and loving.
Service is another way to win the heart of people. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:16
“A man’s gift opens doors for him, and brings him before great men.”
You can serve someone with what you have, it may be your time, it may be your finance, it may be your counsel, it may be your skills and this way, you open doors for yourself using these gifts and you bring yourself into the presence of great men.
Many people desire to be great but they do not want to serve. Service is the short cut to greatness and to get the best out of the opportunity to serve, service must be done in honesty and with loyalty. People who serve for selfish reasons do no really serve, they simply put a front that makes people think they are serving but they are only trying to satisfy themselves. To serve, you must put yourself behind and bring other people before you. Service is what truly makes you great!
Jesus said to his disciples Matthew 23:11-12
“The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Whether you find yourself on the top, on the bottom or in the middle, service is required of you. Service is the hallmark of leadership and people are always in love with a leader who is truly serving. So, whether as a leader or a follower, you can get the best out of people when you serve them and show them kindness.
Many employers do not get the best out of their staff simply because they do not show kindness to their employees. Employees who are treated as partners instead of slaves will always be willing to give their best of services and sometimes they are the ones that can take your organization to the level you never expected because they will be giving out their best with their whole heart.
Favour isn’t just required from the top to the bottom, sometimes; it is required from the bottom to the top too. Those who exalt themselves will always fall because their strength will fail them, they will get exhausted at the end but those who humble themselves will always have many hands lifting them. In pride, you are standing alone but in humility, God and men are standing with you and if God is for you, who can be against you?
Treating people right, serving people and showing kindness is like sowing a seed. Sometimes, the seed of love we sow outlives us and our great-grandchildren benefits from it. It was because of the seed of love Jonathan had sown in the life of David that he asked in 2 Samuel 9:1
“Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
Jonathan’s lame son benefitted from that seed afterwards. What impression do you leave with people who come around you? Do you treat them according to how you feel or do you treat them the way they ought to be treated? Many people have closed doors on themselves by treating people bad. You may not always reign but you will always stay at the top if you can raise people in love and kindness.
Isn’t it loyalty in service that brought a double portion of Elijah’s Spirit to Elisha? Elisha followed Elijah amid discouragements, he followed to the end and it was in the end that he was able to receive the double Spirit of Elijah.
While there are accidental favours, favour can be developed consciously and intentionally. You can grow in favour and be fully aware of it, it is not luck! Value is the constant result of giving value; people will always give back the kindness and love you have given to them. Don’t just wait for people to be kind before you show them a kindness; be the first to show kindness and it gives you an edge!
We read the story of Dorcas in Acts 9:36:42, she is called a woman of many good works and many acts of kindness. As she was showing kindness, she was scattering her seeds abroad. The beautiful thing about the seed of kindness is that it can grow anywhere; it can melt stony lands and grow! It can find cracks and start sprouting from there.
One day, the kind Dorcas got sick and died. She was not the first person that has died in the Church, people have probably been dying and in the story, the shock that came wasn’t because someone died but because it was Dorcas who died!
The Bible says all the women she had helped started crying and presenting the gifts they had gotten from Dorcas. It was because of Dorcas goodness that they were ready to do anything to raise her from the dead especially since she wasn’t supposed to die. Dorcas was later raised back to life by Peter.
They were quick to bury Ananias and Sapphira but not Dorcas! There was value on the head of Dorcas because Dorcas was offering value, a woman of many good works and act of kindness. They would have rushed to bury Dorcas if she was an unkind person; they would have summarily said: “well, maybe it is God’s will.” But Dorcas was a woman of many acts of good works and kindness!
In many occasions, it is the impression you leave in the minds of people that will speak for you. When you are sharing a front with another person, don’t just sweep your portion, extend a hand to sweep that of your neighbour. When you are clearing weeds from your land, don’t just stop at your land, extend hands to that of your neighbour.
I am naturally a quiet person and I don’t often talk with my neighbours when there isn’t any need to. To be able to capture their hearts and get them to see that I have nothing against them, I don’t just sweep my front, I extend a hand to sweep theirs and any day I clean the house fronts, I clean theirs too. This way, I have been able to win their respect and admiration even though we don’t talk often. By being kind to them, I am also teaching them to do the same and they reciprocate my kindness sometimes.
The last Biblical example I’d like to give is the story of Joseph. Joseph’s life exemplifies kindness and service to a great degree. Joseph was sold by his brothers and he got himself in Egypt where his master’s wife falsely accused him which got him into the prison. It didn’t change who he was, he didn’t become a bitter person and he was still able to relate well with his fellow inmates.
After many years, he was remembered by one of the inmates who he had helped. Some people allow their experiences and circumstances to change who they are, they blame their bitterness on the wrongs people have meted out to them and they treat everybody badly for what someone else did wrong.
If Joseph had entered the prison carrying a long face, he would be there till death comes knocking. I see kindness in Joseph because after he had become a leader in Egypt, he didn’t fight back at Potiphar or his wife, he didn’t fight back at his brothers. While God destined Joseph for that purpose, if he had entered the prison making trouble with everyone, he would have thwarted God’s purpose for his life and perhaps, someone else would still be raised by God.
These are things to note:
- The answers to our prayers may be in the hands of men.
- Developing a good relationship with people helps us get the best out of them.
- We find favour from men through the instrumentality of love, kindness and service.
- Service is the pathway to greatness.