Day 6

Show Unusual Kindness

from the Show Unusual Kindness reading plan


Acts 27:39-28:10

BY Guest Writer

Text: Acts 27:39-28:10

The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.
– Acts 28:2

In one of my favorite passages of Scripture, we find Paul on a boat full of prisoners and soldiers bound for Rome. During the journey, they are caught in a horrific storm and end up shipwrecked on a completely unfamiliar island. Prisoners are jumping overboard to avoid being killed by the soldiers, and one centurion goes out of his way to save Paul. It must have been total chaos. All of the men eventually wash ashore… cold, wet, scared, and tired.

I imagine in Acts 28, when the natives of Malta looked out and saw that ship tossing in the waves, they wondered what would happen next. Children playing on the beach ran to get their parents. Parents told neighbors, friends and shop owners, until word of the boat spread across town. Eventually even the island leaders knew. Who were the people on the ship? Would they be dead? Alive? Where were they from?

Before the townspeople even had a chance to learn that the men were prisoners, they welcomed Paul and that rag-tag bunch and showed them unusual kindness. The men were cold, so they kindled a fire. They were without shelter, so the chief of the entire island, Publius, invited them to stay. Scripture says that he entertained them hospitably for 3 days. In kindness and love—for strangers!— he invited these men into his home, not just until daybreak, but for 3 full days.

In a culture where taking people in was certainly more commonplace than it is today, something about the way these Maltan people went above and beyond what was expected stood out even to Paul. Their kindness was uncommon and extraordinary. And when the group finally left, the Maltans honored them greatly and supplied them with all they needed.

Sometimes hospitality goes beyond invitation. Sometimes it is simply a love that meets and exceeds real needs with peculiar and abnormal kindness.

But, meeting needs can involve a giving away of our time, space, and stuff. We will be asked to sacrifice. Extending true hospitality may not be convenient, expected, or even common, but as followers of Christ, we aren’t called to be common. We are called to unusual kindness and love.

Jesus said, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil” (Luke 6:35, ESV).

It didn’t matter to the Maltans who those men from the ship were. They were a bunch of prisoners—people on the way to receive punishment for their crimes— but they were caught off guard, renewed and rescued with unusual kindness.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
– Titus 3:4-6

Unusual kindness indeed.

SRT-Hospitality_day6

Logan Wolfram is the Executive Director of Allume who most loves to write, connect, and encourage women. Daughter of a most extravagant and hospitable King, wife to Jeremy, and mother to 2 wild and inquisitive little boys, her days are filled with a combination of routine and plenty of the unexpected.

Post Comments (56)

56 thoughts on "Show Unusual Kindness"

  1. Deborah Nixon says:

    Beautiful, I realise I was being a ‘Martha’ today and this has realigned my priorities. Kindness often conflicts with convenience and our own agenda, but it is what we are called to and what God modelled for us. Thank you Jesus.

    1. Melissa says:

      Wow! “Kindness often conflicts with convenience” hit me right where I needed i ittotoxay! Wiring that one down for sure!

  2. Kenzie Caudill says:

    I love that this is a sign of our walk with Christ. Where other religions may be known for their strict nature or brutality, we as Christians have the opportunity to be known by our unusual kindness and love! We get to practice our love for Him thrift
    through the heart we share for others.

    1. Allie M. says:

      You make such a beautiful and true point. Our faith is beautifully known by love and unusual kindness. What an amazing calling that we are to share our walk with Christ and reflect His image through this unusual kindness and not the following of rules or a perfect record. How unique our one true God is from all others, and how lovely He is indeed!!

  3. April Rosalee Rodriguez says:

    Truly loved today’s message.

  4. We are called to be uncommon, to give away our time, possessions, and space, expecting nothing in return. Those words convicted my heart this morning. We are to give our best to those who can never repay us, that is true hospitality.

  5. Meaghan T says:

    This was so convicting for me today. I just read a post on pride. Often I think to myself “I deserve to be treated better. ” When in reality I deserve to be treated worse but was spared punishment through Jesus. God shows welcoming kindness towards us even when we don’t show it back. I don’t want my hospitality to be dependent on how I’m going to be treated after.

  6. So good, Logan, and deeply convicting. The question I am now asking is “What do I need to get rid of so I have space in my life for unusual kindness?” It is easy to pack my calendar and my life with so much of the usual stuff that no room remains for the unusual. This is just another reason I believe margin and white space and rest are of inordinate value in our lives. Thank you for the challenge.

  7. I once had a political argument with someone ;) and stated something like this: If Christians were all doing what Jesus told us to do (feeding the poor, giving to the needy, caring for the sick, and widowed, and orphaned, there would be no need for government assistance.

    I know this is a political piece, but it reminded me of that. Challenged me to remember my own words :)

  8. Erin says:

    I work in a homeless shelter and you would not believe the kind of impact is made on lives just when you meet or exceed a simple need. One little thing that you do for someone, one little ray of Christ’s light that you shine on another person can plant a seed that could grow into total life transformation. Don’t underestimate the power of your words and actions, and don’t grow weary in going out of your way to show the incredible, intentional love of God. He’ll use His faithful children to do great things, even if you don’t see it in the present.

    1. Kysia Thornton says:

      Thank you so much for posting this encouragement! Pressing onward.

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