Previously I had the privilege of speaking at Heartland Christian Academy to the student body about the importance of having a ‘kind heart.’ Below is the outline of my talk; I would like to encourage you to find the time to sit down with your kids and talk about the importance of having a kind heart. Feel free to use this outline to guide your conversation.
What does the word ‘kind’ mean? Examples of being kind: If you see someone all alone on the playground, what would be the kind thing to do? Ask them if they want to play with you. If you see someone spill their milk on the floor, what would be the kind thing to do? Offer to help clean up the spilled milk. If someone has a cast on their leg, what would be the kind thing to do? Ask them, “what happened?” and then tell them, “I am sorry that happened.”
What does the word unkind mean? Examples of being unkind: An unkind person would ignore the person standing all alone on the playground. An unkind person would laugh at the person who spilt their milk on the floor. An unkind person would tease the person who broke their leg.
Share this story with your child/children- A little girl was walking to her table in the cafeteria at school, carrying all her food for lunch on a tray. In front of 50 other kids, the little girl tripped and dropped her tray of food on the floor. Her entire lunch was ruined. The little girl was embarrassed and started to cry. How would you feel if this happened to you? What would be the kind thing to do if this happened to someone else?
Main Point- God wants us to have a kind heart! With a kind heart wonderful things can happen!
Bible Text: Luke 19:1-9
The Story of Zaccheaus *Parents, invite one of your children to read the passage!
Facts about Zaccheaus:
He was a very short man. He was a Chief Tax collector. A Chief Tax Collector is a person who is in charge of a team of tax collectors. A tax collector collects a certain amount of money from people and then pays the government what is owed. The problem was that the tax collectors that worked for Zaccheaus, including Zaccheaus, would overcharge the people and Zaccheaus would pocket the difference.
*Parents, illustrate to your children what this overcharging and pocketing the difference looks like, use 5–$1 dollar bills. Have one of your children hold the five one dollar bills in their hand, take one dollar out of their hand. Tell your child, “This is the amount of money owed to the government.” Then take two more $1 bills out of your child’s hand. Then tell your child that this $ is also owed to the government.” (The lie) Put the $2 in your pocket. Ask your child, “How would this make you feel if this happened to you?”
Five things to know about a person with a kind heart
1. A person with a kind heart has a God pleasing attitude toward people (even when they do bad things).
Read V3-4 &7- The crowd was mad at and had a bad attitude towards Zaccheaus and Jesus.
*Parents, talk about what it means to have a bad attitude toward others with your child/children.
Read V4 Zaccheaus was desperate for the attention from Jesusso he ran ahead and climbed a tree. People who are desperate for attention will do unusual things to get attention.
*Parents, talk with your child/children about ways to identify when a person needs attention. Example: A child who is separated from all the other kids on the playground.
2. A person with a kind heart sees people in need.
Read V1 & 5 Jesus saw Zaccheaus in the tree from a distance and he knew Zaccheaus was in need. So Jesus walked over to the tree to talk to Zaccheaus.
*Parents, ask your child/children, “What are some things that you could do when you see a person all alone on the playground?” Suggestion: One thing that you could do is go to them and say, “Hi!”
3. A person with a kind heart cares for people in need.
Read V5 Jesus took the initiative, “He looked up” (focused attention) and said, “Come down immediately, I must stay at your house today.”
*Parents, please explain to your child/children what “focused attention” means. Focused attention conveys a clear message, “I care about you!” When you care for people in need you are willing to include them in what you are doing.
*Parents, explain to your child/children what it means to “include” someone.
4. A person with a kind heart spends time with people in need.
When you care for people in need you are willing to spend time with them. Just like spending time playing with the person who was all alone on the playground. A kind person is willing to spend time with someone needing special attention.
Read V5 Jesus said, “Come down immediately, I must stay at your house today.”
*Parents, ask your child/children, “How do you feel when someone asks you to play with them?”
Read V6 “Zaccheas came down at once and welcomed Jesus gladly.”Zaccheaus was excited that Jesus was willing to spend time with him.
5. A person with a kind heart ignores the negative peer pressure and does what God wants.
Read V7 It is never easy to go against the strong opinions of the crowd. The fear of rejection can powerfully persuade us to not do what our heart is telling us to do.
*Parents, explain to your child/children what it means to “fear rejection.”
Read V8 Zaccheaus heart was changed when he experienced God’s love through Jesus!
Why is it important to have a kind heart?
When we have a kind heart people see God’s love through us. When Zaccheaus experienced God’s love, through Jesus, his heart was changed. Zaccheaus realized that he was disobeying God by lying and stealing money, and he asked God to forgive his sins.
Read V9 Salvation came to Zaccheaus entire family. God can do amazing things through your kind heart!
*Parents, explain to your child/children what salvation means.
Ask yourself: Do I have a kind heart?
*Parents, please pray with your child/children. Ask God to help you to have a kind heart.