The Kindness Jar

By Michelle Lai (Outreach Worker – St. James Town)

“Ha ha! I’m faster than you!”

“You don’t know the answer to that math question?! Wow…”

“Ew, he smells!”

“No one wants to be his partner because he’s a cheater!”

 These are some of the heartbreaking things I hear at KIC on a daily basis—children making mean comments about or towards other children. Although it is obvious to me that this is something that needs to change, it is not an easy task to change it.

 Unfortunately, we are living in a performance-based culture. Our children feel like they need to measure up to some kind of standard in order to be loved and accepted. When they don’t feel like they are measuring up, they try to find something wrong in someone else in order to feel better about themselves.

 This is exactly where the gospel is needed! Children (and adults) need to know that we do not need to earn God’s love or approval. Jesus made a way for us to be fully accepted by God in spite of our sin and shortcomings. When we are in Christ, we are made righteous:

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.

 When God looks at his children, he sees Jesus. If this is true, then we should not feel the need to compare ourselves to others. We are all made righteous in Christ.

This month, we are giving kids a chance to see Jesus in others. We are teaching our kids about God’s kindness, and we are teaching them that we can show kindness to others with God’s help.

We started using a kindness jar at KIC. Kids are encouraged to look for the kind things that others do. Whenever someone does something kind, his or her name gets displayed in the jar. This has given kids a chance to celebrate each other, rather than tear each other down. They are learning that God gives us lots of opportunities to be kind every day!