Posted in theology

Gratitude, generosity, and the tie of Jesus that binds

By Elizabeth Prata

I’ve always been amazed by kindness.

Christian people are kind.

Unsaved people can be kind but Christian kindness is a different species of kindness altogether. People hold the door for you, or ask about your day and seem genuinely interested in the answer. Or send a surprise gift from your wish list. Donate to your ministry. Send a card with an encouraging verse. All sorts of kindnesses, large and small. Unsaved people do those things too but it’s different.

The difference is the motivation. Kindness in Christians is because of Jesus and for Jesus and to glorify Jesus. We are united in ways that the unsaved world can’t understand. We believers are one body, tied together through His blood.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32).

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, (Colossians 3:12).

A woman I know online has a ministry called Covered in Love. She makes lap quilts and sends them to people to whom she feels a connection or who has popped up in her heart during prayer. I happened to be one of those recipients. She painstakingly chose fabrics for the quilt that represented me and my hobbies and likes. She sought colors that she thought I’d enjoy. She laid it out, took it apart, rearranged the pieces, until it blended in harmony to her eye, and then sewed it.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) 

The fabrics feature kittens and teapots and flowers and warm, relaxing colors. All the things I love. She nailed it. Can you believe this? A woman made me a quilt!

And she wrote a four-page handwritten letter that recounted how she found me online and the impact that made to her.

That someone would do this is beyond my comprehension. That any little thing I write impacts someone for the name of Jesus and the edification of their soul. No unbeliever could ever imagine the significance of the things we say and do for Jesus upon a like-minded believing sister. To me, that’s the real stunner. A soul, impacted by a sister, pays it forward, who pays that forward, and so on, all in the name of Jesus.

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10).

Don’t underestimate your impact for His name. Jesus said And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. (Matthew 10:42). I offered a measly cup of water but the goodness and effort and thought in return from my quilting friend was more like a flooding fountain of kindness.

A gift, a handwritten letter, a phone call, an hour of listening to your friend over coffee, offering to run an errand, do some babysitting so mom can nap, a gift, any kindness offered in Jesus’ name has monumental reverberations in the body of Christ and in the soul of the recipient.

I’m grateful for my quilt, my note, and my friend. But I’m totally grateful to Jesus for allowing the change in us sinners from sinful, selfish takers, to generous, sacrificial, kind people.

That’s the best of all. I know she did it for Jesus.

And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.‘ (Matthew 25:40)


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

2 thoughts on “Gratitude, generosity, and the tie of Jesus that binds

  1. Such a thoughtful gift! It took time to put all that together. So kind. Speaking of being kind, I remember the first time that I wrote to you back in 2014. I reached out to ask if you would consider adding my review of Beth Moore’s simulcast to your post “All Beth Moore Critiques in One Place”. Not only did you say yes, you also wrote a post introducing your readers to my ministry. I then wrote a post about your kindness because it meant a lot to me. I will never forget the kindness you showed back then.

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