Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
In 1935, on a winter night, Fiorello LaGuardia, the mayor of New York City, showed up at night court in the poorest part of the city. He let the judge go for the evening and he took over the bench.
A woman in torn clothing, charged with stealing a loaf of bread, was brought to stand before LaGuardia. She told LaGuardia that her son-in-law had deserted her extremely sick daughter, and that her grandchildren were starving. The shopkeeper refused to drop the charges, however, saying she needed to be punished.
LaGuardia sighed, turned to the old woman, and said, "I've got to punish you. The law makes no exceptions. Ten dollars or ten days in jail."
As soon as he pronounced the sentence, however, LaGuardia took a $10 bill out of his pocket and threw it into a hat. And he said: "Here's the $10 fine, which I now remit. Furthermore, I'm going to fine each person 50 cents in this courtroom for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant."
The next day, a New York newspaper reported that $47.50 was turned over to the grandmother who had stolen a loaf of bread to feed her starving grandchildren.
Today, give encouragement or show kindness to someone who wouldn't expect it from anyone else. Christ came to give life and show mercy to those less fortunate and those who are sinners—not the high and mighty. Restore the joy in your life by giving of your time and energy to those who don't have the blessings that you do.
PRAYER CHALLENGE: Ask God to show you someone who is less fortunate than you, so you can extend to him or her the same kindness that Christ first showed you.
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