It was a rather ordinary day in 2010. Light rain fell on the windshield as we drove home from our weekly Bible study. Our car pulled up to the stop sign and she stole our hearts. A precious lady standing there in the rain. Her bleeding sign echoed her bleeding heart. The sign pleaded for food for her “gran-babies” and my daughter couldn’t look away. “Mom, we HAVE to give her some money for her grandkids.”
I didn’t have to reach into my wallet to know that I only had a large bill, nor did I need to look at the budget to know that things were incredibly tight. But my daughter’s generosity moved me and we gave. The lady nearly jumped into our car she was so excited… and God blessed us. No, He didn’t rain down $100s to replace what we had given, but He placed in our hearts a joy that can’t be achieved any other way.
That day as I drove home, I realized the truth that we often miss. God calls us to give what we have. It’s not a call reserved for when we think things are good or when we think we have the energy or when the college fund is padded. We are called to give freely, now.
I have found that when we give EVEN out of our own struggle, that’s when the blessing is the most beautiful. You see, it was in the giving that I found healing. It was in the long nights crying with other broken souls, reminding them of God’s promises, that I was able to find confidence to keep believing in those promises. It was in the constant claiming them, and writing them, and declaring them before a broken group of people that HE healed me.
So I know that Jesus had our very best in mind when He continually encouraged us to give with abandon. Whether that’s money to a grandma on the street, food to a family who is out of work, or a hug to someone who can’t get out of the house anymore, we all have something to give.
What is RAK?
You’ve probably heard about RAK (Random Acts of Kindness). The idea is to randomly give to someone else. You can give something simple like paying for the person’s coffee behind you in the drive-thru or something a little more involved like making dinner for a mom who has a lot on her plate.
Sometimes we do it anonymously, leaving only a card with Scripture behind for the person to enjoy. In that case, we imagine their smile and feel great joy ourselves, knowing we played a part in making someone’s day just a little brighter. Other times we reveal our identity while still making it random. This is usually when it involves food and we want the family to be able to trust that it’s safe to eat.
The purpose of RAK is to bless someone for absolutely no reason while expecting nothing in return. It’s a priceless treasure to do just that.
5 Reasons to RAK someone today:
Giving is an attitude we want to cultivate in our homes.
As Christians, our mission is to become more Christlike. If there is one word that fits the ACTIONS of Christ on earth more than any other, it’s giving. He GAVE His life for us. He GAVE healing, food, time, prayers, comfort, living water, and so much more. In Matthew 25:35-46, Jesus tells us that giving to others is as if we are giving directly to Him. This is because He is full of overwhelming compassion and love for all people. RAK allows us to show compassion and love towards others in Jesus’ name, both for His cause and for His sake.
RAK is an EASY way to give.
Let’s face it, life is busy, hard, and full of demands. Giving shouldn’t be one more thing piled on an already CONSUMED schedule. RAK makes it easy to give because you can choose activities to fit in your schedule, budget, and even your lifestyle. For example, if today’s agenda includes a trip to the DMV for a license, you’d better believe we’re going armed with a RAK card and a sweet treat to leave at the counter when we are done. The beauty of RAK is that instead of adding one more thing, it blends in with your already overflowing life, sprinkling in joy for those around you (and a little for yourself).
It builds family unity by giving you a common cause and a sense of doing something for others.
Often when we think of serving others as a family, our minds immediately go to working in a soup kitchen or singing at the nursing home. While both of these are good, they don’t work for every season of life or every family’s unique circumstances. Random Acts of Kindness are a perfect way to serve others regardless of circumstances because they are simple, inexpensive, and flexible.
It cures selfishness and the ever growing entitlement attitude of our culture.
If there is anything running rampant in our culture today it’s selfishness and entitlement. These attitudes are expected, exonerated, and even celebrated. Don’t give in, give OUT. Serving someone else puts the focus of our time and energy on them instead of US (and that latest coveted gadget or whatever else monopolizes our attention).
RAK models a regular lifestyle of giving
If there is anything I want to teach my kids, it’s a lifestyle of giving. If they are focused on others, there’s less time to think about their own needs, desires, and wants. RAK creates a regular habit or lifestyle of giving, as we are constantly looking for little ways to cross off one more BINGO square. It’s almost a contest, but this contest comes complete with prizes for OTHERS. Over the years, as we’ve built this habit first at Christmas and then into our everyday, I’ve loved seeing the improvement in attitudes and even sibling relationships. I love that RAK enables us to make this a part of who we are as a family.
Ready to give with abandon?
These printables will make it easy. They’re the perfect cure for selfish kiddos, entitlement attitudes, and even summer boredom. To use these printables, simply print a set on cardstock. Hang the BINGO card on the fridge and cut the RAK’ed cards apart. As a family, we set out to score “BINGO” by getting 5 RAKs in a row. When you complete an activity, give out the card whenever possible either by attaching it to something or handing it to the person you RAK’ed.
If you love this idea, we’ve also got a Christmas Version here.