Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - Jan. 4, 2007

Free Hugs 
This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”   Colossians 3:23-24     

In September of 2006, a video was released on the popular Internet site YouTube.  The video took place in a walking mall in Sydney, Australia and showed a man, known as “Juan Mann,” holding a sign offering “Free Hugs.”  As you watch the video, you see person after person walk by and ignore this hugger.  In fact, at one point the police make him stop.  People eventually warm up to the man and the video ends with many people approaching him for a hug.  Months after the video’s release, nearly 7 million people have viewed it; all over the world, “Free Hug” campaigns are being held as a way to give a gift with no expectation in return.


Mann simply did this because he felt that sometimes people just need a hug to feel better.  In fact, the first woman who stopped for a hug shared that that very morning, which was the year anniversary of her daughter’s death, her dog had died.  All she needed this day when she felt so alone was a hug.  And there was Mann to give it to her, freely.


I remember as a kid being challenged to do one nice thing for someone every day without expecting anything in return.  Sometimes it is hard to do something for someone else unless you know you will get a “thank you” or a pat on the back or the favor returned.  The Lord calls us to a different standard.  We are to work with all our heart for an audience of one, God alone.  We are not to work and toil for the approval or applause of man.  We are to serve and give out of purity and thankfulness of heart.

What have you done lately for someone else without expectation of anything in return?       

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1. What can you do today for somebody else?

2. With whom do you work or interact who needs a hug in the form of grace or encouragement or understanding or help?  Perhaps you should extend that to them this week.


Leviticus 19:18; Proverbs 16:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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