Random Acts of Kindness: Give the Coat off Your Back


random acts of kindness give the coat off your back

A good friend of mine did a random act of kindness a couple of weeks ago that touched me so much, I just had to share it with you.  As I write this, I realize that most random acts of kindness, really aren’t all that random.  In fact, all the ones I’ve posted about have been thought out and planned for…not random at all.  This one, however, was totally random…intentional but random.

My friend had been reading the book Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan, which I’ve heard such good things about and plan on starting to read it tonight actually.  Anyway, my friend was convicted by the passage of scripture found in Matthew chapter 25, verses 31-46, that talk about the final judgement.  Verses 34-40 (New Living Translation) read:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you fed me.  I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.  I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me clothing.  I was sick, and you cared for me.  I was in prison, and you visited me.’

“Then theses righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you?  Or thirsty and give you something to drink?  Or a stranger and show you hospitality?  Or naked and give you clothing?  When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

I don’t know about you, but I too find this passage very convicting.  Rarely do I take the time to do the things Jesus lists here.  After studying this passage of scripture and reading Chan’s book, my friend prayed for God to show him ways in which he could give to Him throughout his day.

My friend was on his way back to work from running errands during his lunch break when he saw a guy standing at a stoplight holding a sign that read, “I need a coat.”  Sometimes it feels like God doesn’t hear our prayers or answer us, but sometimes he answers them on cardboard signs!  How cool is that?

Anyway, it took a second for my friend to realize what was really going on and as he read the sign, he thought, well I’m wearing a coat.  He had to turn around the block and come back to the light and as he did, he maneuvered himself out of his coat and then handed it to the guy holding the sign.  The guy also got a nice pair of gloves too that were hidden in the coat pockets.

I was so encouraged by this random act of kindness to be bold and spontaneous in my giving.  It seems so easy to do when I read about it, but if it were me in my van who came across that sign, I’m not so sure it would so easy to take off my beloved pea coat I got for Christmas last year.  Would you find it easy?

I challenge you to pray that same prayer today and the next day, be on the lookout for ways to give to Him today, maybe it’s through a coworker, friend, or a stranger holding a sign.  Listen to what the Holy Spirit is calling you to do then act on it!

Interested in seeing what other random acts of kindness my family has been up to?  Check out these posts:

2 comments to Random Acts of Kindness: Give the Coat off Your Back

  • Karissa

    Thanks, Brady. I love all these updates, as well as the Crazy Love reminder. I always do extra, pointed random acts of kindness for Christmas, but I need to look for opportunities to make them a habit all year long!

    I always think of the man who bought dessert for your table when he saw you and friends pray over your food at Dairy Queen (right?). I keep thinking I’ll do this some day, but I haven’t noticed anyone praying over their meal…

    • Brady

      You’re right, Christmas is the perfect time to cultivate a habit of giving. I’m also hoping to keep it going after the holidays are long gone. Yes, you’re right about the Dairy Queen man–definitely impacted me.

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