Deeds of Kindness Continually Done

Acts 9:36 “Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated in Greek is called Dorcas); this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did.”

Tabitha is a woman mentioned once in the New Testament in a story that had far more to do with Peter and the gospel than with her. Her story is told in Acts 9: 36-42, beginning with her death. Peter comes to her and by the power of the Holy Spirit, brings her back to life. As a result of this miracle, verse 42 says “many believed in the Lord.”

So what can we take away from this story, as women? What was Tabitha known for? Women can be know for a myriad of things: the number of children they have, who they are married to, whether or not they work outside the home, whether or not they home school their kids, what kind of service they are involved in at church, their parenting ideas, the way they dress, their manner of speech, how clean their house is kept. All of these things are important aspects of a woman’s life but none of these are mentioned in the brief description given to Tabitha in these verses. Instead, she is known for “abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did.”

Wow! There are some strong words in that phrase! I don’t know if Tabitha was married or single, if she had children or if she had a job, if she was beautiful or if she was plain. But I do know that she was kind – kind to the extent that her kindness abounded to the point that it was continual. This kind of kindness is not accidental or unintentional. This kind of kindness must have permeated every aspect of her life. She would have always been prepared with a kind word to say to or about someone. This in of itself is hard enough for women who are easily prone towards gossip and would much rather discuss the possibles sins or indiscretions of people than offer kind and true words.

But it was more than just her words, Tabitha’s deeds were continually kind as well. She was thoughtful and caring in everything she did. Her charity was well known throughout the poor. People looked at her and thought, “There is a kind woman.” What a fabulous way to be known! Far better than, “There is a women who only wears dresses” or “There is the wife of one of our elders” or “There is a women who chose not to home school her kids.”

What are some ideas of ways that we can show kindness this week? What are some things that you want to be known for and how to you propose to live your life in order for this to come about?

Comments

  1. Jasmine Aldrich says:

    I really like this post, Nichole.

    As I was looking at my own life and how I am purposing to glorify God and what I want to be known for, many verses came to mind.

    Titus 2:3-5 is very clear as to how I am live so as to NOT dishonor the word of God. Therefore, I plan on submitting to those who can teach me and lead me, so that I can teach and lead other women by being the things that God calls me to in Titus.

    Titus 2:3-5
    Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

    This is just another place where it is clear that we are to be known for our good deeds because of the work of the gospel in our lives, and even gets specific as to what those good deeds are that God has laid out for us to walk in:

    1 Timothy 5:9-11 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband,and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

    These are some of the other verses that this post brought to my mind as I was reading this that bring out your point.

    Titus 3:1-8 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

    Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

  2. Jasmine Aldrich says:

    Here are some more ways in which I want to live and be known since these are some things that mark a woman who fears the Lord. as one who fears the Lord.

    1 Peter 3:1-6 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

    1 Timothy 3:9-15 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
    A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post.

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