Friday, November 15, 2019

Outdoor Object Lesson 106: River of Kindness

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“To him who is ready to faint, kindness should be shown from his friend; even to him who forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” Job‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭WEB‬‬

What is the longest river on earth? Most people have probably heard the Amazon River in South America or the Nile River in Africa is the longest. The answer really depends on how you define river. One dictionary defines a river as a body of water flowing towards the ocean. This means the river doesn’t necessarily have to be above ground. The Rio Hamza is a subterranean river in South America. It flows from west to east 13,000 feet (4000m) below the ground. It is estimated to be about 4000 miles (6000 km) long!1

Rivers are one of natures most amazing features. They are the lifelines of the land. They deliver precious live giving water to everything. Animals go to the rivers to drink. Life is always abundant on the banks of a river. The Nile for example flows through a desolate desert. But along its banks life has flourished for thousands of years, watered by its never ceasing gift. Rivers only run in one direction. It is their nature to give continually. They cannot flow in the other direction. They do not take back what they have given. 

This is the manner in which God desires us to share kindness. Jesus gave us the perfect example. From him flowed never ceasing kindness. Even as he was being nailed to the cross, kindness coursed from him as he asked the Father to forgive his killers. We are to share kindness no matter what. It will flow from us in one direction. It is not something we are to hold back or try to take back. It is to be as a river flowing from us continually to spread life giving joy. 

I once came across a perfectly named river in the Cherokee National Forest in East Tennessee. Bearing the name Goforth Creek, this body of water represents how we are to live. Kindness should go forth from us continually to everyone we meet just as water continually goes forth from that creek. This is not something you can do on your own however. It is not our nature to give kindness continually. We often desire to withhold kindness from those who are unkind to us, or perhaps even hurt them. Every river gets its supply of water from other sources. If we want kindness to flow continually from us like a river, we must be connected to a Source greater than ourselves. 


Do you find it hard to be kind to others at times? Why?

What is the point of giving kindness continually even when someone doesn’t deserve it?

How do we act kind towards those who we would rather not be kind to?

Will God reward those that are kind to others? Defend your answer with a Bible verse. 


1. Richard Black, “Subterranean Amazon river,” (August 27,2011), BBC online, accessed from

Written by David F. Garner
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