Read Matthew 5:43-48

Kindness. It’s no longer just a buzzword or a hashtag. We are finding that, as we stumble through 2020, kindness is a life-saving, life-giving practice. It has gone from just something nice to do for someone, to a necessity for survival for ourselves and our nation! 

Back in January of 2017, I proposed a challenge to our church and friends on social media to join me in The Clean Sweep Challenge. “Clean sweep” seemed to best represent what I felt was on God’s heart for that particular challenge: to give an opportunity to detox our souls in a sweeping, intentional fashion giving us a clean slate upon which to write the new year. Included in that challenge were five activities to practice for 21 days — gratitudes, journaling, exercise, meditation/worship, and lastly, acts of kindness.  

While tossing kindness around serendipitously on strangers certainly has its benefits, in The Clean Sweep Challenge, we focused our acts of kindness in a more intentional way, using the image of a bullseye. We found our target, released our arrow, and hit the mark! We intentionally chose unlikely people, enemies even if we had them, to bless with an act of kindness. 

Today, in the fall of 2020, I want to revisit these suggestions to take up the challenge of Bullseye Kindness. I have chosen the word “bless” to signify the giving of an act of kindness.  

  • Bless the person you would least like to bless.
  • Bless someone whom you don’t believe deserves it.
  • Bless someone who has done you wrong.  
  • Bless the person of whom you are most critical. 
  • Bless someone who is the polar opposite of you in your beliefs. 
  • Bless the one who irritates you the most (could be a member of your own family!)

Forms of kindness are wide and varied. Here are some suggestions. Whether you choose to do them anonymously or being known, the act is what matters.

  • Send an encouraging text, private message, e-mail, or card. 
  • Send a homemade gift with a note of blessing.
  • Authentically compliment or praise someone.
  • Reminisce about good times with someone.
  • Pay for coffee or a meal.
  • Send a thank you note. 
  • And the old standby — send flowers.

By doing this, we are literally waging war against judgments, jealousy, criticism, and hatred — all the junk we want to detoxify from our minds and our nation, and we are building a culture of kindness.

Key Thought:  By practicing Bullseye Kindness, we are adopting the mindset of God. “In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. (Matthew 5:45 NLT) 

~ Janet Mueller

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