The surprising kindness of a shop assistant
The other day I went shopping. When I came to pay, the lady behind the counter did something which really took me by surprise.
She used her family and friends discount card to give me twenty percent off. I didn’t do anything for her to deserve it. I didn’t know her. She didn’t know me. We were complete strangers.
But that one act of sheer kindness really affected me. I was so grateful. I felt great for the rest of the day.
It’s interesting that when the apostle Paul first writes about the sin of human beings, ingratitude is what he talks about.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:21
When I wake up, I tend to think of all the things I have to do that day. I forget that life and breath, food and friends, work and Weetabix are themselves good gifts from my Father.
By encountering the surprising kindness of this shop assistant, I realised how ungrateful I am towards the God who has given me so much in my everyday life.
More than a discount
But God’s kindness goes further.
Just like with the shop assistant, God and I were once strangers (Ephesians 2:14). And yet, he didn’t just let me off twenty-percent of the asking price to enter his kingdom.
When Jesus paid for my sin on the cross, he paid for it all (Ephesians 1:7-8). A sheer, undeserved act of kindness.
So we can sing with the Psalmist,
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4
Grasping this kindness won’t just make our day. It will transform our whole lives.